Q - 5/00, p.1184 stars out of 5
- "...[Bill Callahan's] best yet."
Alternative Press - 7/00, pp.111-23 out of 5
- "...Callahan displays a certain swagger that makes this his first album of interest to those without suicidal impulses."
Magnet - 6-7/00, p.90
"...He's recording with member of Tortoise and Isotope 217, crooning over ersatz '70s soul. But the subject matter remains the same: the unwholesome stains on the wrappings of the human soul....all solidly done."
Melody Maker - 4/11/00, p.483.5 stars out of 5
- "...Bill Callahan unfolds his croaking moan to startling effect....If you fancy spending an hour staring out the window, watching steam rise from chimneys...much of DOS would be a perfect accompaniment..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 5/00, p.92
"...Bill Callahan actually sounds chipper. Must be the sex....there is familiar, black Smog turf [and there is the] less familiar [in] the sturdy rhythms, muscle-flexing playing, robust vocals, The Hard Road's quasi-metal guitar, [and] Justice Aversion's electro-disco beat..."
NME (Magazine) - 12/30/00, p.78Ranked #27
in NME's "Top 50 Albums Of The Year".
NME (Magazine) - 4/1/00, p.338 out of 10
- "...The deadpan Wednesday Addams of alt-rock....He's the grinning gravedigger, the singing mortician....The world is wonderful and terrifying, beautiful and malicious. It's all the better, and worse, for having Smog in it."
Personnel: Bill Callahan (vocals, guitar, jaw harp, piano, Hammond B-3 organ, synthesizer, tapes); Jeff Parker (guitar); Matt Lux (upright & electric basses); John McEntire (drums, percussion); Rich Schuler (drums); Jennifer Collins, Nicole Evans, Damian Rogers (background vocals).
Engineers include: Phil Bonnet, Joe Dilillo, John McEntire.
Personnel: Bill Callahan (vocals, guitar, piano, synthesizer); J. Parker (guitar); Matt Lux (upright bass); John McEntire (drums, percussion); Richard Schuler (drums).
Audio Mixer: John McEntire.
These meandering tales of loyalty and betrayal will certainly hit the spot for Bill Callahan (a.k.a. Smog) devotees. Strip away the cheeky album title and it seems that Smog's world is as bleak and bloody as it ever was. Following the success of KNOCK KNOCK (Smog's relatively upbeat, polished set of "songs for teenagers"), DONGS OF SEVOTION reverts back to a more somber, sparser sound.
The uninitiated will enjoy catchy ditties like "Bloodflow," reminiscent of Jonathan Richman, and "Dress Sexy at My Funeral." The latter is a bona fide Smog classic featuring a ghostly Callahan instructing his wife to reveal her late husband's sexual prowess to the gathered mourners. Gallows humor is a Smog trademark. Featuring guest players from Tortoise, the album has an understated mood, often evoking the Velvet Underground's mellow third album--for example, opener "Justice Aversion" relies on a slow beat-box pattern and childish keyboard riff. It seems Callahan is constantly refining his art down to a simpler core; with DONGS OF SEVOTION he moves a step closer.