Ambrose Bierce, Oil of Dog 7" Read by Anthony D. P. Mann, score by Chris Bozzone
Transparent red vinyl
* Limited pressing on 150 gram vinyl
* Housed in fold-over sleeve
* Newly commissioned art by Eric Adrian Lee & Matt Dougherty
In the telling of the events in "Oil of Dog," writer Ambrose Bierce crafts a tale which is perfectly calculated to evoke in the listener a feeling of unease verging on disgust. The narrator's behavior is eye-popping in its abject criminality, and is only matched – and, truly, surpassed – by that of his parents.
As read by Anthony D.P. Mann, whose recitation of the events which led to the "so bad an end" of "these estimable persons is quite matter-of-fact, Bierce's tale will shock the listener. Mann's stentorian delivery has always felt as though his narrators are patrician madmen attempting to explain horrors beyond belief to a bewildered audience, but never more so than in "Oil of Dog." Maintaining a fine line between childlike innocence and the ravings of one committed to an asylum, Mann's diction never slips from its commitment to delivering every horrific detail.
Composer Chris Bozzone's score utilizes a spare, plucked banjo, taking the listener back in time a century and a half to the time in which Bierce wrote. A gentle acoustic guitar also makes an appearance as the events in "Oil of Dog" take their strong left turn into the bad end. The lush moodiness of the backing track which threads throughout the entirety of the story is electronic, but reminiscent of an orchestra's worth of strings. It's only more desolate when paired with the ever-intensifying banjo, which ends by trailing off, as if exhausted by the frantic nature of the tale's final moments.