What might have been a routinely impressive display of songcraft is elevated via eccentric vocals and dynamic arrangements into an apparent gene-splice of Closing Time Tom Waits with Transformer Lou Reed, as backed up by members of the Band and Lambchop. There's also kind of a Steve Goodman thing going on here, but the late, mild-humored Mr. G was never malevolent enough to blithely alternate "I pray on the weekends" with "I prey on the weak ones," one of several did-I-really-hear-that moments on this CD. The "weekends / weak ones" song, "Banter for the Common Man," is also the theme for Patton Oswalt's great new Comedy Central series, so I guess Winch has, like, cool friends on top of it all. Holy moley, the second half of the disc is even better than the first half. Buy now.
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