On the inside cover of Dan Allen's To the Left Will Go West, there's a still from a scene near the end of Jim Jarmusch's Down by Law in which Nicoletta Braschi is explaining to Tom Waits and John Lurie how the road forks ("On the right will go east; on the left will go west"). The reference to the film is fitting: Allen, who plays all of the instruments here, seems to have the same sensibilities as Jarmusch, Waits and Lurie — perhaps not so much musically, but in his outsider's aesthetic. Allen's slightly out-of-tune vocals — which at times recall Tom Verlaine's, only a few steps lower — take some time to warm to, just as they did on his previous release, 2010's Thompson Blues. His quirky folk rock, meanwhile, is a bit more accessible this time around.
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