Solo artist Dan Melchior (ex-The Broke Revue) recently released a new album, The Backward Path. The discfeatures Anthony Allman, Haley L. Fohr, Sam Hillmer, Ela Orleans, and C. Spencer Yeh. Melchior has been featured on over 20 albums, including releases by solo work, collaborations, and The Broke Revue. His style is unmatched, and can be classified as a hybrid genre. Dan’s work is a disheveled mix of rock, electronic, experimental, and everything in between. This disc can be compared to someone getting dressed in the dark immediately before going out in public and looking like a big hot mess. The approach to the album has no rhyme or reason, but it surprisingly just works for Melchior’s clear avant-garde style as a musician.
There are seven tracks titled “S.P” (from one to seven) that are entirely electronic instrumentals. Not certain of the exact intention of these tracks, but to me they act as short instrumental interludes to recharge your brain and ears from the chaos of the album. I kid you not, Melchior’s vocals and lyrics remind me of Russell Brand’s role as the quirky recording artist Aldous Snow in Get Him To The Greek. The uncanny similarity that I’m sure is unintentional between Melchior and Brand comes from the strange lyrics and monotone singing voice. “Dark Age Tail Spin” has a rock and country feel from the acoustic guitar, yet it features an unfiltered backdrop of clashing instruments (violin, keyboards). The album ends with the mellow track “No End,” which features haunting vocals from Fohr and Yeh.
There’s not one thing on this album that makes sense, yet there’s a distinct beauty about that. Melchior’s style and approach cannot be duplicated or pigeonholed into one genre classification. Music and art does not have to make sense to possess great qualities, and I’m sure Melchior does not care if listeners think he does not make sense.