Slim Cessna’s Auto Club (from the album Cipher)
The literary traditions of the Old West are the words that form the framework of Cipher from Slim Cessna’s Auto Club. Based in Southern Gothic story structures, Cipher, the fourth album from SCAC, offered an audio page-turner into Slim Cessna’s brand of Gothic Americana. After a brief spoken-sung introduction, (“An Introduction to the Power of Braces – Arms”), the 2008 release from Slim Cessna’s Auto Club traces lines across the U.S., slashing American roads into ribbons of highways as they namecheck cities and towns with “This Land is Our Land Redux”. Alternative Rock is used for a canvas as Cipher paints scratchy Folk music into the foundation for the lessons preached in “SCAC 101” while a banjo and heavy beats are the musical background for the tale of “Red Pirate of the Prairie”, and community vocals add a chorus to the psychotic Country of “Ladies in the Know”.
Slim Cessna’s Auto Club are re-releasing Cipher on their own label. The album tunes into “Americadio” with a rumbling rhythm as the come-on ‘submit unto me, submit unto our ways’ invites and entices faithful into the mysterious undertones of Cipher. The theme of the album is told in fragments as the tales of Cipher sketch out a baroque swamp romp with “All About the Bullfrog in Three Verses” as dark chord clouds swirl under the maniacal gospel of “Jesus is My Body – My Body Has Left Me Down”, and a raggedy banjo riff leads the way into the frantic march of “Children of the Lord” as Slim Cessna’s Auto Club gather on the front porch for salvation admitting “Everyone is Guilty #2” with a ragtag chorus, a procession of horns, wobbly yodels and a spoken sermon.