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Cajun rock sextet delivers Southern
Gothic with a psychedelic spin

Black Bayou Construkt - Kingdoms of Folly
(GolarWash Labs & Records)
4 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Sept. 22, 2009
Black Bayou Construkt

Review by Tony Bonyata

Born in the murky swamps of Louisiana's Cajun country, Black Bayou Construkt is a rock band that doesn't fit conveniently into any single genre or musical format, and, as witnessed on their arresting full-length debut Kingdoms of Folly, this indefinable diversity proves to be one of their many strong points.

Led by the enigmatic vocalist/guitarist/shaman Dege Legg (also frontman for the more hard-rocking Lafayette, LA-based outfit Santeria) this sextet mixes elements of classic rock, rural Delta blues and mystic psychedelia with Legg's dark Southern Gothic imagery into an intoxicatingly new sound unlike anything you've heard before. This is likely due to the many hardships the band endured while writing much of the material for it, including the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, along with the band living in (as their liner notes explain) "seedy motels, trailer parks, dead cars and junkyards." But as history often reveals - pain and suffering can inspire great art, which is exactly the case with Black Bayou Construkt's new record. In fact, you can actually hear the pain bleed from many of these atmospheric tracks, such as the ghostly "Last Man Out Of Babylon" and "Way of the Lamb," the latter which is visited by an otherworldly violin courtesy of Esther Tyree. The band fires up all cylinders on the stomping rockers "Movin' On," "Jones For War" and "Killing Time," yet also have the dexterity to pull in the reigns on the haunting and majestic number "All The Kings Men," as well as the more introspective "Lonely Street." The album closes with the epic track "Black Is The Night" which, with shadows and light colliding, may best typify this mesmerizing new act from The Deep South.

As strong as the compositions, production (courtesy of Tony Daigle) and musical executions are, the secret gris-gris in BBC's stewpot, however, is not only Legg's raw and commanding vocals, but also the spirit of 1930's Mississippi blues that bubbles from the ground up like crude oil when he tears into his slide guitar. Dark, mysterious, heavy and captivating, this is definitely a band to keep an eye on in the future.

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