Sometimes you've got to listen to an artist and allow them to ferment in your ears lest you pass judgement too quickly. It's kind of like when I first heard Ween; I wanted to kill that guy. "What's with all this shrieking?" Well, I'm older now (and I do yoga), so the homicide is virtually all gone from me. It's a good thing because I just discovered the new EP from Newark musician Luke Cornwell, "Wallop Dollop," a record full of acoustic-based, thrash folk, what-the-fuck that I love because of the visceral feeling it gives me.
Ten years ago, I wouldn't have been as receptive. Cornwell doesn't have a bad voice, but he's a bad singer. Case in point: the song "Like Me," where he shifts from lonesome croon, to an upper register flatness, back to a croon. And it totally works. The lyrics are a cross between a pre-teen kid on way too much trucker speed and the Red Headed Stranger's type of brilliant syncopation after a bong hit. It's as if Cornwell were out of breath. "Wallop Dollop" will raise the eyebrows of those around you, and you may hate it, but that's what good music is capable of doing.