It might not be the conventional opinion, but there is nothing cooler than a man in a white shirt and dark tie playing with an electric zither whilst standing behind a podium. This is how I was introduced to Brian Dewan, the musician-artist-engineer-auteur, when he opened for They Might Be Giants in the late ’90s. He is an man who really defies any rational explanation for his existence and instead you just need to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. Although he does have a penchant for recording old political rally songs, his first album, Brian Dewan Tells His Story, actually features such important topics as dead cowboys, cop killing (and cop zombies), drinking birds, alien invasions, haircuts and household fires. Now, if you don’t think that sparsely arranged songs that are dominated by Brian Dewan’s intense vocals and zithering, then maybe this isn’t for you, but if it is, you will be rewarded justly. “Cowboy Outlaw” might be one of the downright creepiest songs put to tape, as Dewan spins a yarn about a dead cowboy whose body gets handed down through the years, while “The Letter” describes the myriad of fates of people who did and didn’t keep the chain letter moving. This is nerd rock at its finest, a real gem for those of you looking for the opposite of rock and roll.
Excellent tracks: “99 Cops”, “The Cowboy Outlaw”, “The Letter”, “The Creatures”, “Feel the Brain”
EG100 Score: 77.77