The Victor Mourning
A Handful of Locusts (BMI)
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Aug. 13, 2010
The Victor MourningA Handful of Locusts (BMI)
The Victor Mourning consciously steeps its aesthetic in a bygone era, exhumed in fiddle, guitar reels, and haunted folk ballads and conjured by the sepia-toned locust artwork prophesying plagues. Despite the harrowing starkness of biblical brimstone and Southern Gothic outcasts that shade the local trio's debut LP, the veteran prowess of the folklorists and production from Erik Wofford give the songs an expert contemporary polish that bridges the centuries. Stephen Lee Canner's vocals crawl with an eerie Appalachian twang, and from the opening Icarus reworking of "Zachariah" to the tortured domestic madness and "Omie Wise" allusion of "This House Is Filled With Sickness," his songwriting rakes through the heritage of rural apocrypha and apocalypse with death and the bottle ever at hand. Tim Kerr contributes button accordion to the desperate shanty of "Patagonie," but Jad Fair's vocals on closer "Grasshoppers" quake with the ultimate rumination of wrack and ruin.