BREAKING SOUNDS: Dan Melchior 'Fire Breathing Clones on Cellular Phones' CD

posted Friday Nov 3rd, 2006

Over the past fifteen years or so Dan Melchior's abiding crop of intonations has seen more metamorphoses stylistically than any other artist that comes to mind. From his minimalist blues beginnings as a Billy Childish and Holly Golightly collaborator, his talk/sing style of delivery fit perfectly into the mournful tin pan container. Sounding as if Lomax had recorded it 40 years before Melchior was born to his more recent outpouring, Melchior does it open-handedly. With his heartfelt, disburdening, and truthful songwriting, his tunes have always seemed perfectly honest and clever, and in a very unpretentious way, poetic. In the mid-nineties, when he transplanted from the UK to the US his blues tinged drudge thickened with The Broke Revue with the release of This Love is Real. By the time Bitterness, Spite, Rage and Scorn was released on In The Red, his tone became slightly more sneering with a heartier sound. The sparseness in his songs became filled with an astute venom, all the while leaving one foot planted in the blues. But over the past couple of years with the release of another solo album Hello I'm Dan Melchior and the more recent Fire Breathing Clones on Cellular Phones, Melchior has departed from his previous conventions offering up a sound that is strange and neoteric.
Fire Breathing Clones on Cellular Phones was recently released on Plastic Records and serves up quite a platter. Following through with his mix of introspective, observant and affectable songs, Melchior steps away once again from his usual blues din and kicks the door open with more adventurous instrumentation and songs that break his own mold. Never being a genre conscious artist and writing songs that lend more to a feeling and attitude than to any preconceived classification is exactly what separates a novice from a craftsman. Melchior deals out songs that reflect his apparent distain and ebbing excitement for city life, to celebrations of his under appreciated and thankless profession, and glows under a black light of nobel and classic song writing.