Thee Missouri’s In Voodorama was an unexpected surprise. After wading through roughly ten albums of the bad and the worse, this disc has re-affirmed my faith in reviewing bands of which I have no prior knowledge. The band hails from Nuremberg, Germany, and cultivates a weirdly southern gothic sound that wouldn’t feel out of place emanating from some upscale bordello on Bourbon Street. There’s an inherent darkness in the group’s instrumentation — or rather the lack of — that elicits an easy comparison to the great Texas band Knife in the Water. The stark minimalism is held together with loose sketches on guitar, funeral organ, dystopian electronics and garrote wires of pedal steel. The result is so empty and haunting, Nick Cave couldn’t do it better. Especially impressive is how Thee Missouri imbues Ray “The Country Weird Al” Stevens’ tune “Laughing Over My Grave” with a menacing tone. “This Is For When You Come Too Early And Leave Too Late,” the album’s best track, follows suit. It’s a minor chord piano waltz with a nervous tension wrought with what sounds like an e-bowed guitar notes. The song swells in crescendo, but never quite hits a climax. It’s very reminiscent of their countrymen, Kammerflimmer Kollektief.
The band doesn’t remain content to deal only in ambience, and thus sutures driving soul bass lines to a handful of tracks, making them feverishly taut. At these points, the band becomes almost a quicker-paced Black Heart Procession. Unfortunately, the band’s minor missteps occur when they’re in this mode, including the half-baked “Some Kinda Love,” which revolves around the inane lyric “How could I have known that your love was so sexy.” The closer, “Lord I’m Ready,” is a complete redeemer, getting things back to basics and compressing melancholy and acceptance behind its languid instrumentation. I’ll definitely be looking for more from these guys in the future.
Blue Disguise: www.bluedisguise.com