Nov 2011 15

Bryin Dall - Deconstructing HankBryin Dall
Category: Gothic / Folk / Ambient
Album: Deconstructing Hank
Stars: 4.5
Blurb: Stripped down to a depressive core, one of country music’s greats is given a dark and mesmerizing tribute by one of the underground scene’s most original artists.


Whether as a member of Dream into Dust, 4th Sign of the Apocalypse, A Murder of Angels, Loretta’s Doll, or any of his other numerous projects and collaborations, Bryin Dall stands as one of the most exploratory artists in the underground music scene. His talent for creating decrepit soundscapes and otherworldly and occasionally nightmarish atmospheres has garnered him an impressive reputation, although he is probably most renowned for his unique stage presence, often utilizing unorthodox methods and techniques for playing guitar using various objects like a machete. What is perhaps not as widely known is his affinity for the classic country ballads of Hank Williams… at least, until the release of Deconstructing Hank, Dall’s first solo outing.

Hank Williams is best known today as one of the key figures in country music, revered by artists as diverse as Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Tom Petty, Leonard Cohen, and now Bryin Dall. Deconstructing Hank lives up to its title, eschewing the traditional arrangements of some of Williams’ best known songs and straying from the voice-cracking croon of old-school country that some might expect. With Dream into Dust band mate Derek Rush on the standard instrumental accompaniment and coproduction while Dall focuses on the vocals and more unorthodox sound effects, the album paints a rather disturbing portrait – though perhaps more accurate than country fans would care to admit – of Williams and his music. Through Dall’s nasally baritone is the despair and pain of Williams’ lyrics heard, making for an almost depressing listen. The isolation and bitterness of songs like “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “You Win Again,” and “Why Should We Try Anymore” is exhibited plainly, stripped of the major chord upbeat of the originals down to a gothic and ambient core as only Dall can deliver, while “I’m So Tired of It All” almost sound like suicide notes from the great beyond.

While one need only read Williams’ lyrics to understand the turmoil the man endured until his death at the young age of 29, as result of alcohol and drug consumption, Bryin Dall gives these songs a delivery more gut-wrenching and heartbreaking than most have dared to pursue. Those afraid to explore a country artist for fear that it would violate some rule of musical elitism or simply as a matter of personal taste can rest assured that Dall’s tribute to one of the genre’s greats in a manner befitting their darker predilections. Deconstructing Hank gets to the heart of Williams’ lyrics and presents them in a distinguishably original style that may bring country and industrial fans some common ground if they dare to listen.

Track list:

  1. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
  2. Alone and Forsaken
  3. You Win Again
  4. There’ll be No Teardrops Tonight
  5. I’m So Tired of It All
  6. All the Love I Ever Had
  7. Why Should We Try Anymore?
  8. Lost on the River
  9. Cold, Cold Heart
  10. May You Never be Alone Like Me

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Rotorelief Records Website


Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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