CD Review: Lord Cut-Glass — Lord Cut-Glass

LordCutGlassCD Lord Cut-Glass

Lord Cut-Glass

Chemikal Underground

By Julia Reidy

Ex-Delgado Alun Woodward’s lilting Scottish accent wraps
itself around the haunting, intricate instrumental arrangements in his songs.
His debut LP under the moniker Lord Cut-Glass — named for a character in the
radio play Under Milk Wood by Dylan
Thomas — turns seamlessly from folk to waltz to military march to a ditty about
being the “product of the modern man.” Each song is a fleshed-out stand-alone
composition, a full story and an entire piece of music in its own right.
Listening to Lord Cut-Glass as an
album feels like being at the theater; one can almost feel the velvet of the
curtains and the see the glow of the stage lights.

Maybe it’s because most of the phrasing seems directly
derivative of theatrical song composition in the best way. Woodward plays with
tempo and volume in a manner that creates interest and tension, helped in his
efforts by drummer Paul Savage (also formerly of The Delgados), as well as a
large collection of Glasgow
classical musicians. Together, they man a toy piano, a full horn section, an
accordion and slews of sweeping strings; they supply choral backup singing to
supplement Woodward’s fast-picked acoustic guitar and produce his bizarre
mental collages.

Lyrically, Woodward brings intimidating smarts and a
charming sense of humor to his songwriting. Take, for example, the fact that
the quietest song on the album — a sweetly sung minimalist acoustic duet — is
called “Holy Fuck!” and asserts that “glimpsing reflections of the past… feels
like licking rats.” Through lines like these, Woodward displays his ability
with striking descriptiveness. “I believe that you and me will never be/A
Fred-and-Ginger matinee romance,” he croons. “Holy Fuck!” and every song on the
album, really, beautifully meshes undeniable truth with darkly comic wit and
weird analogy.

Woodward sings about everything from pirates and ninjas to
simple interpersonal relationships and the Midas touch. One of the record’s other
down-tempo numbers, “Monster Face,” features Woodward with his guitar again,
but this time it’s over tympani and a loud, baritone horn section that lends
menace to already dark lyrics like, “I’m a man who’s always had a plan/Like a
bee with the scent of a rose/Awkward, keen and verging on obscene/I am here,
mathematically mean.” While certainly possessed with the ability for calculated
effort like the character in “Monster Face,” Woodward’s intensions with Lord Cut-Glass were doubtless of a
kinder nature, and now have resulted in a piece of art tailor-made to enthrall.

Leave A Comment!