Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Album Review: "Crippling Lack Vol. 1" by David Thomas Broughton

Crippling Lack Vol. 1

I like a challenge.

Ever since the phrase "experimental folk" has been in my personal lexicon, it's been a passion of mine.

Many are the minutes whiled away devouring an experimental folk record in my car trying to break it down and analyze it's rough hewn edges.

In fairness, that's only been about two weeks after an email arrived telling me about Yorkshire's own, David Thomas Broughton.

Apparently, he's decided that creating a triple vinyl LP, recorded in Pyong Yang, North Korea, and releasing it in three volumes, on three record labels, over the course of 5 months was a good plan. So, like my man Bender said, OK. I like a challenge.

David Thomas Broughton, Totally not crazy.
But I'm taking this one volume at a time. All three volumes at once, is not a good idea.

What first caught my notice of this album is the smell of it. Though it's not being released on CD, I received a packet of three CDs in black jackets sealed that smelled of some sort of strange potpourri.

And a postcard from the 1800's.

Upon spinning the first two tracks of this record it started off with the clearest and most morose sounding acoustic guitar heard lo these many years.

Broughton's singing sounded straight out of Charles Dickens. His vocals never change from this delivery style which could never be appropriately described by me.

As the first song went on so sparse, so well, foreign to my American ears the second song was when things got a bit weird. Broughton and his guitar remained and then the addition of strange sounds like from a bad early generation arcade game started their syncopated rhythms adding to the insanity.

By the time side two rolls around, the listener will either be totally fascinated and ready to be knee deep into more of these exceedingly long and strange folk songs. I felt rewarded with fuzzy guitars and some delicate solos.

Crippling Lack Vol. 1 is a slow burn, but it will burn as hot as the sun if you let it.

Check back for Vols 2 and 3 in the coming months.

Release: 4/1/16
Genre: Experimental Folk
Label: Song By Toad Records


  1. DTB is from Yorkshire. Not Scotland.

  2. Thank you! I got confused on that one apparently. Made the update.