Art Compost and the Word Mechanics

In a marketplace clogged with cookie-cutter combos lacking all but the most superficial signs of individuality, Art Compost and the Word Mechanics dare to be different. As Love, Death and Poetry's title implies, the group, led by SETH, a veteran of Denver's spoken-word scene, merges music with poetics to diverting effect.

In the wrong hands, this concept could have been insufferably pretentious -- and listeners who like their imagery pithy may lump the CD's twelve-minute-plus title cut into this category. For the most part, though, the juxtaposition of SETH's language and the evocative soundscapes constructed by the likes of guitarist Bob Peek, drummer Scott Seeber and bassist Edward Marshall is striking. As a bonus, some numbers demonstrate a dark sense of humor -- among them "Mother of All Truths," an apparent reference to the JonBenét Ramsey case that kicks off with the line "The word on the street is: Santa did it!"

And just in time for Christmas.

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