New Blackout Beach – “Astoria, Menthol Lite, Hilltop, Wave of Evil, 1982″ (Stereogum Premiere)

Blackout Beach’s Skin Of Evil is a monster of an album, and not just because Carey Mercer often sounds like one while incanting his dark Bowie-on-Scott Walker woe. A month or so ago we gave you “Cloud Of Evil” from the Frog Eyes frontman’s second solo offering (it follows 2004’s Light Flows The Putrid Dawn). The release date was pushed back some, so please take home album closer “Astoria, Menthol Lite, Hilltop, Wave of Evil, 1982″ for the time being. Like Skin’s other nine tracks, it’s a swirling dramatic mini-epic. This is how Mercer opens it, in the middle of a drum swell: “You see I’m always, you see I’m always, you see I’m always bent out of shape / like an ocean town stuck in the winter, / and logs just seem to wait / hopefully the clouds clear because the clouds have canned our fate / and I hate that windy whip-up, that duldrum of breeze, I hate that which is my state…” Then our protagonist builds a nest “on that sandy cape”:

Blackout Beach – “Astoria, Menthol Lite, Hilltop, Wave of Evil, 1982″ (MP3)

“Donna takes her name from the beauty of the wintertime: the candied crust of the snow.” Dan Bejar offers a helpful tidbit in the one-sheet:

Skin of Evil is remarkable in the sense that a. it contains a story, and b. it sticks to the story; a rare occurrence in these free times. “Donna” is the subject, and each of her lovers (past & present) say their peace in song (Donna gets her song, too).

As mentioned, it has a new release date: Skin Of Evil is now out 1/20 via Soft Abuse. The cover art features Donna, apparently:

[Photo of Mercer by Sarah Cass]