Jody Nelson had a busy 2012 with a fantastic EP release from Through the Sparks, production duties on Some Dark Holler’s Hollow Chest, performing on Wooden Wand’s Blood Oaths of the New Blues, and touring and working diligently throughout the year on his own Dorado project.
And it is this project that has seriously got our attention – the album Anger, Hunger, Love and the Fear of Death is the first release of the year on This is American Music and it sets the bar pretty damn high.
The album is large in scope, divergent in tone, and somehow simultaneously disjointed and perfectly cohesive. It isn’t easy listening, but it is mighty rewarding. At first it seems that sonic chaos has been unleashed – mayhem abounds with Nelson seemingly a cackling maniac at the controls – our first impression was of an album that Heath Ledger’s Joker might have on repeat on his iPod. While its roots might nominally be in southern rock, there are plenty of other forces at work here – psychedelia, folk, country-noir, art-rock, straight-up indie – the musical cauldron bubbles and seethes with every imaginable ingredient.
Thankfully, there is plenty of method in the madness though; Dorado’s wild, noisy jaunts feel right at home alongside folksier numbers as evidenced by the album’s final pair of tracks—Deleted Scene dissolves like Jay Bennett-era Wilco right into Birds of Paradise which nods to Dylan’s I Want You. Meanwhile Ape of Dorado is right up there with our favourite tunes of the year so far.
Dorado is distinctly Nelson in all of his dramatic, poetic, student-of-sounds glory, and Anger, Hunger, Love, and the Fear of Death might well prove to be one of the first great releases of 2013.
Purchase it here.