On the back cover of Thompson Blues, Dan Allen's latest album, there's a photo of Allen holding a stack of Jim Thompson novels. While this might be intriguing for fans of the crime-fiction writer, who wrote some gritty, tough-ass books like The Killer Inside Me, The Getaway and The Grifters, unfortunately for Allen, the songs on Thompson Blues don't pack nearly the same punch. While the music itself isn't too bad, especially with some intriguing background textures from Albuquerque's Chuppers EFX unit, Allen's monotone, slightly out-of-tune vocals take some getting used to. Think Joy Division's Ian Curtis and Kermit the Frog somehow morphing together to sing over some dusty, quirky, punk-influenced proto-folk tunes.
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