Swearing At Motorists
This Flag Signals Goodbye CD - Secretly Canadian

A solemn rumination on a disintegrating relationship, Don Doughman takes his first step without the rhythmic backing of longtime drummer Don Thrasher (replaced by Joseph Siwinski) and creates a singularly powerful work. Nonetheless, Doughman’s skeletal songwriting remains intact, as he documents the failures and frailties of the human relationships in almost painfully intense detail. Using the occasional cliché to maximum effect, the songs communicate their messages of loneliness and obsession with a simple and conversational language, creating narrative moods with words as much as music. That meditative focus would probably be too much if it weren’t so consistently well-rendered, with menacingly defiant “Doors Are Closing” perfectly balanced by the banjo and acoustic guitar of “Leaving Adams Morgan”. As always, Doughman presents a study in contrasts, turning out equal amounts of lo-fi crunch and pastoral sleepiness. Not that this is a departure in any sense, as Doughman is still at his best alternating between the acoustic lullaby of “Drinking On The Roof” or the darkly contemplative “The Real Thing”. If anything, he sounds as if his craft is becoming more effortless to him, as This Flag Signals Goodbye presents regret and self-doubt with an amazing amount of confidence. (Matt Fink)



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