Though not one to burn up the charts, Cass McCombs has been a hit with the critics since he first started releasing music. His last two records in particular, 2007â€™s Dropping the Writ and 2009â€™s Catacombs, have gone over quite well, and Witâ€™s End is a worthy follow-up to McCombsâ€™ previous work. Even though the title depicts madness, the music is deceptively mellow and soothing. As the adage goes, sometimes itâ€™s the quiet ones, and McCombs is able to slowly burn his way through to your core with his poignant lyrics and seductive darkness.
One arrested track is â€œThe Lonely Doll,â€ a xylophone-tinged lullaby that involves more reality than happy storytelling. With other songs, it is easy to slip into a lull of just enjoying the record withÂ the tracks blending together seamlessly. However, â€œHermitâ€™s Caveâ€ has abrupt percussion that sounds like a pie plate being banged more than any traditional instrument, snapping you back to attention as the closing of the record nears. But the main standout track is also the last; â€œA Knock Upon the Doorâ€ is delightfully folky, sounding like something that could be improvised next to a fireplace rather than perfected inside a studio. It sprawls on for nearly ten minutes, but each one is necessary in wrapping up a record that would make fans of Andrew Bird, Iron and Wine, and Villagers quite content.