Rachel Brooke – A Killer’s Dream

Arriving a little too late to make the end of year review and Best of here’s an album that would placed high on said lists and hence it’s the first one for 2013, as a fan of Brooke’s previous work and particularly the last EP the vinyl was already ordered before the promo CD arrived, from the cover there’s, perhaps a hint of what one may expect if unfamiliar with Rachel Brooke’s music, though the classic country girl pose of the album art offers only a fragment of the recordings story for there’s more to this book than can be judged by its cover.

In contrast to previous releases which were mainly lo-fi country acoustic A Killer’s Dream features backing band Viva Le Vox fleshing out the sound, the album is not restricted by genre either country, blues, jazz and surf-rock are all in mix, two tracks from the Late Night Lover EP get a makeover that work beautifully in the context of the rest of the album, a loping trumpet is employed on Ashes to Ashes to great effect and the same instrument is put to work on Late Night Lover embellishing the track without losing the essence of the original – a perfect slice of sepia tinted country-noir.

Opening with an intriguing musical vignette that is swiftly curtailed the album eases into a country blues lament to a love rival, Fox In The Henhouse ,through to the title track that closes the album A Killers Dream, the album offers much to admire and enjoy – one favourite for me is the re-worked Late Night Lover though The Black Bird runs it close,  the killer track though is the surf-rockin’ title track that (nearly) closes the album  – if you hold on through the silence there’s a ‘hidden’ track You Don’t Hear Me Crying credited to Brooke’s fiancé Brooke Robbins, there are ten originals from the pen of Rachel Brooke and a cover of the legendary ‘Fats’ Domino’s Every Night About This Time, previous musical collaborator Lonesome Wyatt also appears taking the male vocal part on Old Faded Memory an ode to a lost lover and ‘the life we never shared”.

For the full experience we would of course recommend the vinyl which is only fitting for an album recorded in analog form live to two-inch tape.

Highly recommended.

 

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