4 out of 5 stars
Late last year, in an interview with the Huffington Post, Andy Thomas, the guitarist and singer for the Denver cow-punk band Tin Horn Prayer, said that he’s gone through a post-30 puberty growth spurt that resulted in improved guitar playing and a “significant” change in his voice.
And while his band’s latest album certainly highlights some vocal prowess, the raucousness of the group’s style takes center stage. But with his solo release this month Wicked, Dark, Thomas peels away the party of Tin Horn Prayer to show his strength as a songwriter and vocalist. Like Tin Horn Prayer, the arrangements are simple, but whereas Tin Horn tries to get the whole venue screaming along, Thomas’s solo work is more subtle and story based, even if those stories are, like the title suggests, wicked and dark. In fact a lot of the material here sounds like Tin Horn Prayer, but on klonopin. It’s slower, more brooding and according to Thomas, the tracks follow the themes of Coen Brothers movies. Thomas has said that a big motivation behind this solo album is to help fund the self-publishing of his novel Hell is in New Jersey.