Cass McCombs | DNO158
Cass McCombs was born in California in 1977. He began playing guitar at the age of 14 and has a public high school education. Since, he has traveled and lived in many places. His first collection of recorded songs, an EP entitled Not The Way, was released in 2002 by Monitor Records of Baltimore, MD, followed the next year by a full-length, A, also on Monitor. Both albums were recorded in San Francisco and inspired partly by the events surrounding 9/11/01 and his experience living in New York City at that time. 4AD Records of London began to license the albums abroad.
In 2005, now joined by a band, McCombs released a concept-album, PREfection, through Monitor/4AD. Recorded very quickly in Michigan during the icy month of February, PREfection experiments with diverse lyrical subject matter. Although the band dissipated, McCombs performed extensively in the U.S. throughout the next year, mostly as an opening act in the lower rock circuit, picking up band members where he could. Over the years, the live band has changed so frequently, change itself could be considered a theme. Ranging from three to eight pieces, electric or acoustic, McCombs has always been fortunate to have his songs interpreted by innovative musicians. Yet, just as PREfection was released, nearly all of his working relationships vanished in a matter of weeks, and inevitably he turned his thoughts to making another record.
His current release, Dropping the Writ, represents yet another shift. Most of the songs were written when McCombs moved back to California, this time southern, in the fall of 2005. Assisted by friends, including some who had contributed to A, the new album was recorded partially in a studio as well as in the solitude of his newfound home. The music alternates between mania and wonder, within a song-form that McCombs continues to expand upon lyrically, often with the humorous, wry use of stories plucked from his own life experience. Dropping the Writ, an informal term which Wikipedia describes as "the procedure in some government systems where the head of government goes to the head of state and formally advise them to dissolve parliament," is the first release by McCombs on Domino Records.