Chicago mainstay Doug McCombs dazzles on his first-ever solo LPLuca Cimarustion September 28, 2022 at 5:00 pm

If you’ve paid even the slightest bit of attention to Chicago music over the past, say, 35 years, you’ve surely heard Doug McCombs. He’s held down the low end for indie-rock legends Eleventh Dream Day since the mid-80s, acted as the heart and soul of postrock pioneers Tortoise since their founding in 1990, and helmed the shape-shifting Brokeback since 1997. McCombs’s playing is rock-solid, sensible, and melodic, and while he’s best known as a bassist, on his first-ever solo LP, the brand-new VMAK<KOMBZ<<<DUGLAS<<6NDR7<<<, he applies his singular style mostly to acoustic and electric guitar explorations. With elements of minimal ambience, Ennio Morricone-influenced twang, and his own signature Laughing Stock-flavored postrock bliss, McCombs dives into all sides of his musical self on the record’s three ruminative tracks—some expected, some new and surprising. The album’s side-length closer, “To Whose Falls Shadows,” layers ambient guitar and dreamy, rhythmic plucking to create something warm, heady, and transcendent. McCombs’s track record all but ensured that VMAK<KOMBZ<<<DUGLAS<<6NDR7<<< would be an instant classic of spaced-out perfection; if anything, it’ll make you wonder why it took so long to get a Doug McCombs solo album out into the world.

Doug McCombs’s VMAK<KOMBZ<<<DUGLAS<<<6NDR7<<< is available through Thrill Jockey.

Read More

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *