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Dax Riggs — Say Goodbye to the World

Released by Fat Possum, 08/03/10

Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

From the depths of the darkness and the cold, metallic crypt, Dax Riggs unearths Say Goodbye to the World. His second solo album after 2007’s We Sing of Only Blood or Love, Riggs keeps with the blues-rock direction and brings the heaviness as if you were to share a cigarette in the flooded basement of a Louisiana prison with Satan and Elvis Presley.

Riggs fires right into the album track and you feel the weight of his words with each Kevin Fitzsimmons bass line and Charley Siess drum clap that annunciates the clock is almost at midnight.

In the shadows lies Riggs’ potent mix of songwriting and haunting voice. When he sings in “I Hear Satan” and “You Were Born to Be My Gallows” the ghostly wails portray an underground chamber replete of a grave hell. The dark mood doesn’t brighten, although the pace quickens with “Gravedirt On My Blue Suede Shoes.” It’s a speedy tune that hammers Riggs guitar work and forms an edge on an otherwise murky path.

A favorite track is “Like Moonlight,” a slow ballad that walks through the black, supernatural forest of Riggs’ mind. It’s chilling and perhaps best served with a whiskey, yet it’s a marked signpost full of starlit holes that leaves a lingering image upon Say Goodbye to the World.

On an innovative version of Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel,” it feels like you are being wrung through the wringer. The deliberately measured tempo hangs loneliness out in the gallows for the entire world to see. The way the song is broken down and deconstructed magically changes all the past times you heard it and you no longer recognize it.

The rain comes down on the last track “See You All in Hell or New Orleans,” filling up the room with a cool ballad drunk on the both the possibilities and regrets. You can almost see Riggs through the rain draw the last bit of his cigarette and flick it into the over-flooding dungeon as he calmly walks back into the ward.