Multi-site review! For the other Jim Dead & the Doubters reviews, click below:
I like Jim Dead’s authentic dark slant on country and blues. I don’t know how you get such a true slab of blues out of Scotland, but there is no lack of truth in Dead’s music. With the Doubters he gives a full-on band experience, blues-rock with drums and electric twang, but nothing has changed. Jim Dead still sounds wracked with all the pain and agony from past records, perhaps even more so.
A “Wooden Kimono” doesn’t sound like comfortable garb, but this song is anything but wooden. It’s played on wooden instruments plugged in with electricity, and accompanied by Dead, telling it like it is. “Wooden Kimono” is a swampy stomp; this gives way to “May the Road Rise”, a powerful moaner of riffs and wounds. Jim Dead has never sounded better, truthfully, than he does baring his soul on “May the Road Rise”. “Pray for Rain”, the title track, is a storm of rock power so just get swept up with it.
This is a rough mix — the album version sounds better.
The blues vibe comes across on “Holding the Line”, with some very nice guitar work up front. A soaring chorus and some bluesy guitars are just what the doctor prescribed. “Lovesick Blues” is heavy shit, grunged up and ready to take it to the next level. “I’m sick of TV, I’m sick of me,” sings Dead with the anguish you expect, but with a Glenn Danzig howl.
As if to emphasize an LP side change, “Trains” fades in slowly and feels like a new start. Jim Dead likes writing about trains. I like that. “Trains” is the opposite of “Lovesick Blues”; it’s a brief percussive tune that introduces the country twang of “Crows on the Wire”. Sounding like an upbeat road tune, “Crows” reminds me of Blue Rodeo. It defies you to stand still. “Let it rain, let it snow,” sings Jim and this time we’ll agree to disagree. “Home” then is ominous, with those big fat guitar tones you love, again sounding a bit like Greg Keelor’s work in Blue Rodeo. “You Coulda Said” has one of the sweetest sounds in the whole wide world, that being a dirty slide guitar. The final track is the quieter “I’m Not Lost”, also the name of a prior Jim Dead EP. Call it the album epic, but at almost seven minutes it really does feel like a journey. It starts somewhere and goes somewhere else. That’s the key.
If you want something authentic and real to listen to, with the darkness and brightness of the real world, than look no further. You must simply Pray for Rain, and get this CD. This is the real thing; the genuine article. You can buy Pray for Rain by clicking here.