Music Reviews

Gerard McHugh

Tales of Madness and Horror


Amy Ray (of Indigo Girls fame)-financed record company Daemon Records has been the home for many an Atlanta-based musician, from folk to punk – some interesting , some not worth the listen.

Gerard McHugh’s third folk/pop outing Tales of Madness and Horror is one of those projects that probably seemed like a good idea, but whose sum is much less than its parts. Unfortunately, the weakest part of this whole equation is probably McHugh himself. Surrounding himself with a solid – if uninspired – band, The Crafties, and guests such as Ms. Ray herself, McHugh’s got a moderately interesting sound going, but his insular one-line joke songcraft, coupled with genuinely annoying vocals, is a little hard for anyone besides his good friends to take. Off-kilter phrasing can either be endearing (as in the likes of Daniel Johnson) or profound (such as Captain Beefheart) or cogent (let’s look at the mouthfuls of verbiage of The Mekons’ Tom Greenhalgh, or even Mark E. Smith), but McHugh just sounds inept.

Daemon Records:

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