Dave Cloud and The Gospel of Power


Farewell Dave

Recent Reviews and Other Press


PopMatters [US]
18 August 2015


Dave Cloud & The Gospel of Power: Today is the Day That They Take Me Away [album review]
By Ed Whitelock
Fire Records' release of Today Is the Day That They Take Me Away, the final album from [Dave] Cloud and his band, the Gospel of Power, offers an excellent initiation for those of us arriving late to Mr. Cloud's sublime freak show of a career. . . . This collection is a fitting epitaph, capturing Cloud in top form and a great introduction to his unique vision.

Not just garage rock, Today Is the Day That They Take Me Away is kitchen sink rock and roll; just about every influence one can think of is present in this album’s swirling mass of sonic energy. Cloud channels Captain Beefheart with alacrity throughout, perhaps nowhere more distinctly than in his howling vocals on “DNA,” while he resurrects the late Lux Interior’s bark on Buddy Knox’s "Party Doll." . . . "Damn Damn Damn Damn" is vintage garage rock, and the title track presents a morning-after cacophony of inner voices concluding "I must’a gotten high last night."

Cloud's bandmates, particularly Matt Bach and Matt Swanson, deserve ample praise for their commitment to Cloud's sonic vision. Like Beefheart's expert instrumental companions, the musicians surrounding Cloud inhabit their leader's vision and ably jump from one genre to another at will. Consistently throughout, Cloud's persona is restless and profane, his vision psychedelic and prophetic. Yet, by all accounts from those who knew him, his was a welcoming vision, an entreaty to step outside the norm, to free mind and body in the power and energy of public performance art, where any gathering could be a stage. His last words on the last cut of the full-length record, "Lebanon Road" encapsulate it all: "Join the party, baby. Join the party." 7 out of 10.
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Pitchfork [US]
17 August 2015


Dave Cloud & The Gospel of Power: Today is the Day That They Take Me Away [album review]
By Stephen M. Deusner
Today Is the Day That They Take Me Away surveys the breadth of Cloud's relatively brief recording career [and] reveals an artist who had already refined his aesthetic and had utmost confidence in its viability over the years.

We've heard songs like "Bimbo" and "400 Girls" before, reiterations of omnivorous male sexuality that innervated early rock'n'roll but soon became a tired ritual, a means of oppression rather than liberation. But there's something so exaggerated in Cloud's delivery that the songs sound like parodies: hetero-dude desire exploded to Tex Avery proportions. Cloud sings so often about unattainable women that romantic longing becomes the de facto theme of this collection, undermining the jokiness of "Thieving Love Bandit" and "Damn Damn Damn Damn" and suggesting a very real sense of loneliness motivating these songs.

Today Is the Day That They Take Me Away is an epitaph for an unusual career, because Dave Cloud died earlier this year, age 58, of melanoma. He never achieved the fame and fortune many believed was his due, but his true destiny was to be Nashville's glorious cult icon. He obviously relished the role, and this affectionate tribute reveals an artist who managed—amazingly enough—to remake rock'n'roll in his own image. 7.5 out of 10.
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17 August 2015

Dave Cloud & The Gospel of Power: Today is the Day That They Take Me Away [album review]
By Mark Deming
Today Is the Day That They Take Me Away is as fitting a farewell as anything [Dave Cloud] recorded, an 85-minute epic full of murky grandeur. While Cloud's surreal lyrics sometimes drift from theme to theme within a song, his dominant obsession is women, and whether he's pining for an "alabaster girl" in "Damn Damn Damn Damn," longing for "Angelina," wondering about unfaithful partners in "400 Girls," or reworking Buddy Knox's "Party Doll" to his own specifications, love has Cloud's mind messed up in a wild and compelling manner. The scrappy backing provided by Cloud's Gospel of Power is a great match for the frontman's sonic and thematic worldview, loaded with garage band grit and punk-infused noise but with a healthy chaser of Southern soul that meshes nicely with the bent passion of Cloud and his songs. Dave Cloud was a unique talent whose work was not for all tastes, but there's a mad joy and untethered emotional freedom in Today Is the Day That They Take Me Away that would be the envy of nearly any artist, and on that score, this album puts much of Nashville's better-known product to shame. If you want to honor the legacy of this one-off musical romantic/troublemaker, giving Today Is the Day That They Take Me Away a spin will doubtless invoke his spirit and puzzle your neighbors all at once.
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Uncut [UK]
17 August 2015
(September issue)

Dave Cloud & The Gospel of Power: Today is the Day That They Take Me Away—"Final slice of nutjob garage-psych from Nashville renegade" [album review]
By Mark Bentley
Cloud's Death in February at just 58 robbed music of one of its genuine outliers. Lionized by those who knew him (Harmony Korine cast him in two movies), Cloud spent decades heroically dodging opportunity's knock. He's been dubbed "the last truly undiscovered lost genius" and this 27-track album, finished weeks before he died, is a perfect summation of his oddball power. Cloud specialized in grinding garage riffs, wrecked melodies and mordantly funny lyrics—witness the awesome "Bimbo" and "He Not a She." Fans of Waits, Beefheart, Reigning Sound, Jay Reatard and The Gun Club should rejoice in his strong final work. 8 out of 10.


Soundblab [UK]
14 August 2015


Dave Cloud & The Gospel of Power: Today is the Day That They Take Me Away [album review]
By Rob Taylor
[The music on Today is the Day That They Take Me Away] ranges from interesting but forgettably garbled garage rock, to [mostly] fantastic rock nuggets with the bestowed quality of a multi-faceted artist. As with musicians such as Eartha Kitt, Lux Interior or Screamin Jay Hawkins, the music is rich with characterisation. It's possible, listening to Cloud, to get completely lost in the narrative, as evocative as good literature.

Cloud has a voice somewhere between Tom Waits, Dr John and Tricky, a raspy narrative style suited to the garage rock heavy-riffed music in preponderance here. Although this style is often shambolic, the quality of the musicianship amongst the members of the Gospel of Power is first rate, as is the production.

It's too easy to condescend outsider music by overstating its eccentricity rather than its creative force, or criticising inconsistency when experimental art is necessarily uncompromising in its spontaneity. For every stonker on here, there's a head scratcher, but when Cloud nails it, there's a party not far away. 8 out of 10.
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The Arts Desk

The Arts Desk [UK]
12 August 2015


Dave Cloud & The Gospel of Power: Today is the Day That They Take Me Away [album review]
By Thomas H. Green
[Dave Cloud's] final album is a typically warped effort, part twangy guitar with Iggy Pop-in-ballad-mode vocals, part Tom Waits growling, part Sixties trash, part lo-fi pisstaking and the title track—a highlight—comes on like Locust Abortion Technician-era Butthole Surfers, which is to say it's wonderfully deranged.
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The Independent

The Independent [UK]
7 August 2015


Dave Cloud & The Gospel of Power: Today is the Day That They Take Me Away [album review]
By Andy Gill
Dave Cloud was an avant-garage-rock primitivist whose last album is now sadly upon us, following his death from cancer this year.

It is apt that his response to medical necessity should reference Nervous Norvus's bad-taste classic "Transfusion," while elsewhere his Beefheart-ian growl is applied in breezily lascivious manner to such inappropriate recipients as "Angelina," "Party Doll" and "Bimbo," whom the 50-something singer tries to pick up after school.

"Bimbo, you're my No 1," he leers over a gloriously chugging Velvets-style garage riff, the very image of the man your parents warned you about. But while the women of Nashville may sleep a little easier tonight, it's sad to lose such a determinedly individual outsider talent, the vulgar bark of whose records, one suspects, was rather worse than his bite.

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