Mark Bragg – Your Kiss (2011) MP3/Flac

Alluring and demented, Mark Bragg and a crackerjack band of fellow Newfoundlanders in St. John’s storm through haunting, off-kilter songs on the delightfully disturbing Your Kiss. An odd duck live, Bragg is perfectly at home unsettling a roomful of people with his blunt humour, but even if he’s joking about teaching an infant how to be his designated driver, he does so like a master storyteller, with charm and graceful timing. Those same skills are all over Your Kiss, which borrows liberally from a songwriting tradition spanning everyone from Captain Beefheart to Gordon Gano, in that weird punk/folk realm where dark reality jibes with razor-sharp absurdity. The threat is on instantly, as Bragg sings the opening title track’s…

mp3 VBR~258 kbps | 54 MB | DF | MC

…menacing lyrics, before launching into the murderous “Your Boys Home.” While Nick Cave and Black Francis haunt fantastical songs like “Roll Baby Roll” and “You Be the Boy,” which mannishly mess with gender dynamics, Bragg’s real muse is Bruce Springsteen. An acknowledged fan, Bragg pays homage to the Boss’s mid-’70s style with the structure and emotion of things like “The Cutter” and “The Fool,” but, rather than romantic, the characters throughout Your Kiss generally sound completely nuts.