Smog Rain On Lens on LP
Ninth Album Under Bill Callahan's Former Pseudonym
Located at the mid point between Lee Marvin and Harvey Oswald, Bill Callahan aka Smog has established a reputation as a classic American male outsider. With 12 studio albums under his Smog belt Callahan remains an enigma. A consummate storyteller in the tradition of Leonard Cohen and Kris Kristofferson Smog songs are car-wreck compelling, unsettling, unsentimental narratives delivered in an irresistible rich brown baritone.
Whether accompanying himself on acoustic guitar or surrounding himself with crack musicians and producers Smog's sound is constant: the sound of a gold prospector ruminating into the night. Conforming to the loner mold of a long line of great American artists, Callahan radiates a peculiarly male energy: an unspecified kind of careworn rage, an acute sense of restlessness – his characters are horse breakers, ex-convicts, strangers. As an autobiographer, Callahan is a rogue trader with an unreliable commodity, a conscientious objector to the confessors club that constitutes singer-songwriting.
2001's Rain On Lens is Callahan's ninth full-length effort under the Smog moniker and one of his darker sets. The songs and subject matter suit his deep baritone like a glove here while a full backing band featuring the likes of Eleventh Dream Day's Rick Rizzo on guitar, US Maple's Pat Samson on drums, and avant-garde oboeist Kyle Bruckmann only further the caustic cause.