Nick Castro & The Poison Tree
Further From Grace
To get right down to it, Nick Castro’s weakness is the inanity of his lyrics. “Deep Deep Sea” contains half a verse of the following: “Though it’s not fair/no one will notice the way I stare/I’m staring at your long long hair/at your long long hair.” This is taken from a song about devotion to his muse, and the best representation of her (I’m guessing) beauty Castro can muster is that her hair is long. Other attempts read like the same kind of new age philosophy you’d find scrawled in ornate calligraphy and set against a maroon-hued sunset on a greeting card. It’s genuinely disappointing, to say the least.
Castro redeems himself with his rough and tumble English folk instrumentation. He’s got Bert Jansch and Vashti Bunyan down pat. Without the accompanying lyric sheet to reveal what’s coming out of his mouth, the mixture is nearly palatable. Unfortunately, the music hits a sour note on the eastern-tinged “Music For Mijiwiz.” In the midst of a disc that recalls the desert sounds of California, getting suddenly transported to the Hindu Kush hardly feels right at all. If you’re into the new wave of folk music, you can do much better than this.
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