The Renderers: Monsters and Miasma (Last Visible Dog)

 |   |  1 min read

The Renderers: A Little to the Left
The Renderers: Monsters and Miasma (Last Visible Dog)

Once known as “the only country band on Flying Nun" (Trail of Tears in 90, their sole album for the label), this on-going project of Brian and Maryrose Crook has progressively taken a darker and deeper path the past decade.

These 10 songs owes debts to old murder ballads, the Velvet Underground and the Doors, acoustic Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Townes Van Zandt and Marianne Faithfull.

With eerily plucked banjo (the haunting, Southern Gothic of A Little to the Left), a dense guitar drone and unsettling organ (A Forest of Forests), stalking bass and disturbing electronics (the soundscape of Sargasso Sea), and vocals from down a dark hall (Harvesting the Sea), this can be as creepy as it is cathartic.

They also carve out driving pop-rock (Fu Man Chu, Deep Deep Sea, Feels Like Fun which sounds like 1976 Dylan fronting the Meat Puppets) but mostly this comes out from the shadows.

Better known in the US -- where they recently toured -- than they are back home, the Renderers occupy similar rock-noir territory as Nick Cave. But when Maryrose takes the vocals there is an even more unnerving juxtaposition between her singing and the menacing lyrics and music.

Sort of Nancy’n’Lee with the spirit of early Lou Reed as a ghostly presence.

Not for everyone, but far too good to be embraced abroad and left to languish in their homeland. 


Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Russel Walder: Rise (Nomad Soul/Ode)

Russel Walder: Rise (Nomad Soul/Ode)

Walder was the producer/arranger and oboe player on Whirimako Black's exceptional Kura Huna album of two years ago, and if there had been any justice it would have appeared in "best of the... > Read more

Tumbleweed: Sounds from the Other Side (Shock)

Tumbleweed: Sounds from the Other Side (Shock)

Wollongong's loud and hairy Tumbleweed enjoyed a decent reputation here in the Nineties on the back of a couple of fine albums (notably their self-titled debut of 92) and some live showings... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

20TH CENTURY DREAMS by NIK COHN AND GUY PEELAERT: A life less ordinary

20TH CENTURY DREAMS by NIK COHN AND GUY PEELAERT: A life less ordinary

Max Vail was an extraordinary character. Part-Zelig and part-Chauncey Gardiner, he was seen in the company of the great and famous throughout last century. He counted among his friends Andy... > Read more

Stevie Wonder: The Wonder of You

Stevie Wonder: The Wonder of You

The curious thing about going to meet famous people is sometimes you don't recognise them and end up sitting in the bar or cafe counting the ceiling fans until you realise your prey is that little... > Read more