Carolee,Gothic Beauty

Gloaming music is dark; despairing vocals are dark. But all of that aesthetic darkness sounds like theatrical escapism when compared to the dystopian poetry of David E. Williams, whose songs of squalor, vindictiveness, death and paranoia are delivered in a grave tone somewhere between diehard pessimism and facetiousness. Williams has the disturbing ability to incite uncertain, queasy curiosity and even laughter in his brief, often distasteful narratives, many rhythmically rhymed with an undertaker's restraint in his creepily inviting voice. There's just enough morbid humor (in tracks like "Stillborn," recorded live) to convince you it's all for shock and amusement, except when you wonder if he's serious.