Comet Gain, Paperback Ghosts

John Everhart

By John Everhart

on 08.12.14 in Reviews

Since Comet Gain’s inception more than 20 years ago, frontman David Feck has found inspiration in outsiders, the iconoclastic artists who perhaps took a fleeting shot at success and missed, or maybe never even tried very hard at all. Jack Nance, Dan Treacy, Robert Forster and Nicholas Ray are just a few of the kindred souls who have been mentioned throughout Comet Gain’s back catalog, and they foreshadow the full-on fascination with the spirits of the downtrodden, and what becomes of them, that imbues Paperback Ghosts.

A full-on fascination with the spirits of the downtrodden

Throughout the album Feck’s in a particularly contemplative, even existential, mood, musing on its tranquil, shuffling opener “Long After Tonight’s Candles are Blown,” “We are holding on to life/ Because heaven is a lie,” and on the bruised, twilit ballad “Wait ’til December,” “If the world ends then it’s OK/ It’s just their world.”

“Confessions of a Daydream” conjures a full-on phantasmagoria, in which Margaret Thatcher and witch goddess Marjorie Cameron are summoned to battle, over a churning, “Sister Ray”-esque boogie-down riff. Yummy Fur’s John McKeown jumps in at the coda, cryptically urging, “Every little nothing is some kind of something,” as a funereal organ bleeds into the proceedings. Like the rest of this record, it’s fitful and beguiling, ultimately another auspicious addition to the band’s impressive discography.