Slim Cessna’s Auto Club
One of the truly mysterious, truly weird bands of the past two decades goes by the name Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, hails from Denver, Colorado, and is fronted by a man known only as Slim Cessna. Over the course of the past twenty-five years, they’ve released a handful of records that blend rock, country, folk, Americana, and whatever the hell else they feel like throwing into the mix, alongside lyrics that are oblique, surreal, and occasionally nonsensical. But that’s okay, because that’s all a part of the appeal.
Cipher, released in 2008 and woefully out of print ever since, is a fine example of the weird world of Slim Cessna. An odd religiosity runs through the record, as does the concept of braces—arms, legs, teeth, and, um, faith. The music runs the gamut from punk rock built with country roots (“Americado,” “This Land Is Your Land Redux”), Christian banjo thrash (“Children Of The Lord”), hillbilly vaudeville (“Ladies In The Know”), grunge played with banjos (“All About The Bullfrogs In Three Verses”), drunken country (“Everyone Is Guilty #2”), and music that’s just beyond any classification (“That Fierce Cow Is Common Sense In A Country Dress”).
I have a sneaking suspicion that there’s a concept album hidden in Cipher, but I’ll be damned if I could tell you what it’s about. I can live with that; sometimes weirdness like this need not be examined and just appreciated for what it is. Do that, and in Cipher you’ll find a wonderfully enigmatic and enjoyable listening experience.
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