Slim Cessna's Auto Club 

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The songs that make up SCAC's latest release could easily be the chants, hymns and bitter recollections of men awaiting their dancing death at the gallows. For the sort of men, at least, that show up to their own hangings drunk on holy water yet spitting hellfire. This album ain't no lighthearted affair, but rest assured that bellowing along to nine tracks of bizarre misery feels damn good.

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Banjo rolls, two-step drumming, overdriven country guitar and organ swells serve as the dark country-rock backbone for this collection of macabre tales and apocalyptic ruminations. The Colorado outfit's touring hearse makes a series of left turns down the Americana highway, past haunted farmhouses and burned-out steeples, pausing at each to tell their story. Though frontman Slim Cessna serves as the inspiration for the band's name, it's co-frontman Jay Munly who steals the show, spreading his provocative wail and twisted songwriting across the album with the manic fervor of a drug-addled street preacher. Regardless of who's behind the microphone, however, the sordid narratives and attention to detail in tunes like "Hallelujah Anyway" and "Thy Will Be Done" will hold the listener's rapt attention as tightly as a coffin.

Slim Cessna's Auto Club plays the Palace Sun., July 22, at 9 PM. $8.

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