Tuesday, June 25, 2024
HomeMusicD.C Cross – Glookies Guit (Album Review)

D.C Cross – Glookies Guit (Album Review)


Not even a year after the inventive Wizrad drops, we have another set of Australian guitar instrumentals from the dexterous D.C Cross. According to Cross, Glookies Guit is a ‘sadder’ and ‘weirder’ recording than his previous works, and there is just a hint of this from the opening song, International Bury the Hatchet Day. From the first bar, there is no mistaking Cross’s impeccably picked notes, making complex patterns sound simple and fluid, but the pacing here is deliberately slower, and the minor key lines give the music that hint of melancholy he refers to in the notes.

This feeling continues on The Forgottening, which takes gently thumbed lower notes and plays around with a beautifully picked melodic line on the treble strings. Whereas Wizrad and Hot-wire the Lay-low are happy to flex with sturdy thumbed bass notes and string bends, Glookies is content to keep the picking clear and eschews many of the tricks guitarists enjoy, flourishing in favour of clean notes and melodic playing. The overall suggestion is a guitarist very comfortable in his own skin and confident in the strength of his compositions.

Things get serious on Failed Gen X Love Story, an ambient track that blends the spirit of drone with industrial and ghostly synth-like sounds. It’s quietly affecting and leads into Gen Xer Love Story, an upbeat piece of guitar playing with a sweet melody and playful character. Cleverly (with some perhaps tongue-in-cheek cynicism?), the previous piece may have foreseen the fate of this bright romance, a suggestion that puts a cloud over the latter tune, not contradicted by the abrupt cut-off at the end of the song. Ever one for attention to detail, this little two-hander packs a lot into its overall five minutes or so and invites much interpretation, for which we can be grateful.

Further on, the album’s single extended piece, the eight-minute Rhinestones, in Black and White, comes book-ended by two ambient tracks, the brightly shimmering Wattle Battle and the darker, more brooding EU Psychic Travel Club, a field recording from Germany that mixes snatches of conversation with a low rumbling and drones. The tune in between is lovely, with clear guitar notes bringing to mind a less intense Fare Forward Voyagers. I love the space in this piece, with the notes playing with the melody before locking in and delivering a patient, rhythmic song that is my pick of the bunch.

D.C Cross is a musician who seems to want to give us more than a set of instrumental songs. As with the humorous studies that make up Hot-wire the Lay-low and Wizrad, Glookies Guit encourages deciphering of song titles, as well as deep listening to nuanced playing, interspersed field recordings and ambient tracks. It makes for a rich listen to music with depth and character. As I mentioned above, Glookies is a more serious and no-frills record in the structure of the guitar playing, with Cross happy to allow the beauty of the tunes to shine. The result is undoubtedly his most accomplished work to date: a memorable acoustic guitar album.

Glookies Guit is independently released 30 May 2024: https://darrencross.bandcamp.com/album/glookies-guit



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