Wino - Adrift
Exile on Mainstream Records
Acoustic Rock
12 songs (41:56)
Release year: 2010
Exile on Mainstream Records
Reviewed by Goat

After his well-received solo album of last year, Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich (St Vitus, The Hidden Hand, The Obsessed, Spirit Caravan, etc) has decided to cut back even more from the Doomy style he’s known for, and the resulting acoustic album is sure to raise eyebrows. It’s full-on wanderin’ troubadour stuff, the man and his guitar alone, about as far from the stoner stomp of the previous album as it’s possible to get. I sometimes have trouble with acoustic albums – not every musician is capable of matching the compositional skills or sheer atmospheric star aura of Bob Dylan or Johnny Cash, yet surprising numbers of self-obsessed weirdos often seem to think that they are. What works for Steve Von Till doesn’t necessarily work for everyone, after all. Yet I found it genuinely impossible to dislike the songs on show here, Wino proving yet again his talent at the guitar and his vocals as good as ever. Acoustic albums stand or fall on the talents of the artists involved – stripped of a band, it’s down to the man alone to prove himself to you directly, and Wino delivers here, again and again.

First things first, this isn’t quite an acoustic album. Several tracks have solos that are quite obviously plugged-in, and whilst they’re never out of place or jarring, it does take away from the ‘all-acoustic’ tagline rather. Still, when the songs are this good it’s hard to care about little things like that; the opening title track’s folky rambling very engaging and the smooth transition into the following stripped-back blues of I Don’t Care impressive. Highlights are everywhere – the gypsy-tinged Mala Suerte and the melancholic Old And Alone, yet I can see the double Motörhead cover of Iron Horse/Born To Lose going down a storm, coating Lemmy’s classics with a coating of sour-old-man misery, and doing it damn well. Suzanne’s Song lets the guitar take over, and Whatever highlights the catchiness for a song that will get stuck in your head for weeks on end – Savoy Brown cover Shot In The Head nearly as good.

Obviously this isn’t going to appeal to every Doombah out there. I am what is usually described as a massive Dylan and Cash fan, and if you’re the sort that makes faces at acoustic songs and skips them to get to the riffage then you probably won’t like this. It is a quality album, however, the droning O.B.E like something from the Deadwood soundtrack, quite, quite beautiful, and closing masterpiece Green Speed a blizzard of bluesy soloing that should appeal to everyone reading this. I hope that Wino goes back to Stoner county soon – his previous album Punctuated Equilibrium was better – but this is a good move from an artist that continues to defy expectations and deserves the legendary status that he is slowly building for himself.

Killing Songs :
Adrift, I Don’t Care, Old And Alone, Iron Horse/Born To Lose, Suzanne’s Song, Whatever, Green Speed
Goat quoted 79 / 100
Other albums by Wino that we have reviewed:
Wino - Punctuated Equilibrium reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
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