To anyone at all familiar with last year's cover-centric, p:ear-benefiting Bridging the Distance
comp, it's probably no big surprise that the guy who covered Billy Idol's "White Wedding" has also penned an album titled Blues for Losers
. And Whip, a.k.a. Jason Merritt, hasn't spared any of his warbly voiced suffering on Losers'
opening track, "Down By Blood."
Much like he added a macabre solemnity to Idol's glam-rock standard, Merritt casts his own tunes in a weathered, dirt-filmed guise that smacks of hard, old times. Perhaps it's the blood-related title—or the gone-West-in-hopes-of-fortune look Merritt has going—but I can't shake how much the tone of this song conjures recent buzz flick There Will Be Blood
Beyond the aesthetic similarities, there is indeed a sonic element to "Down By Blood" that makes me feel both uncomfortable and fully engaged, much like the aforementioned movie. There's a clanking-of-chains percussive sound and a whistle akin to wind whipping through a valley that permeate the whole song, but it's the discordant clanks and chimes that come in for the last minute or so—coupled with long-faced female backing vocals (courtesy of Joyell Dunay, as far as I can tell)—that makes this song downright chilling. Enjoy!