Doc Corbin Dart
Patricia


5.0
classic

Review

by DoofusWainwright USER (99 Reviews)
July 24th, 2017 | 40 replies


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “Doc, we need to travel back to 1986, the summer before I suffered my first nervous breakdown!”

In the critical evaluation of musicians and songwriters there’s only one term more misused than the descriptor ‘genius’, and that’s ‘eccentric’. Everyone’s eccentric; tomorrow Chris Martin straps on a pair of tweed dungarees and that’s enough, he’ll be branded with the term for the rest of his career. Elton John wears bad rugs and circular glasses with pink lenses, oh what a classic English eccentric, etc. The truth is that all of us have our foibles, our oddities, everyone’s a little bit kooky, so to find a real honest to goodness toilet bowl lickin’ eccentric is rare. For a certain type of music listener this can become a quest of sorts as they’re drawn closer and closer to the rabbit hole marked ‘obscurities’, eventually taking a tumble; once down there they look to hunt out the hermits, the sociopaths, the freaks, the loners. The forgotten men (they're usually men, not always of course).

So when I claim that Doc Corbin Dart is a 'true eccentric' you must believe that I’ve done my research, that this isn't a distinction I make lightly. To start with, his family name is itself a famous one; his father is Rollin Dart, the wealthy Chairman of Dart National Bank, and he’s related to the family which founded the Dart Container Corporation. It’s hardly a surprise to learn that Doc worked for the family firm for four and a half years, though this stint of employment only succeeded in hardening his anti-establishment leanings and ramping up his paranoia thanks to all the accusations of nepotisms levelled at him by his co-workers. It all ended, predictably, in disaster, with the son taking his own father to court.

The following years only increased his reputation within the community as a misfit and firebrand as he started publishing a local fanzine which focused on stories concerning slain police officers. It wasn’t until he turned 29 that he’d establish some real degree of fame, forming the hardcore punk band Crucifucks and signing to Jello Biafra’s label. Of course this only accelerated his antics; the band were sued for using what they believed to be was a photo of a dead policeman in their album art. Bizarrely, in 1989 there was a major plot twist when Doc decided to run for mayor of Lansing; needless to say he only won 5% of the vote and was regarded as a laughing stock for having worn green tennis shoes throughout the campaign. Nutty 🥜

A year after his political defeat Dart would return to music, only this time operating under his own name. With solo album number one, ‘Patricia’, he abandoned the hardcore stylings of the Crucifucks and aimed instead for a mid to late 80’s sound inspired by acts like R.E.M and Husker Du, as well as taking pointers from outsider figures like Daniel Johnston. A punk element would always remain thanks to the Doc’s…how to say this?...unconventional in the extreme singing voice. Part wounded animal, part strangled cat, the end result is something arrestingly snotty and abrasive; an acquired taste in extremis. In marked contrast the music itself is for the most part very easy on the ears, a mix of pretty acoustic strumming and some surprisingly old school ‘rock video’ lead guitar. The magic here is in how that weasel voice manages to totally command these catchy songs, flooding them with the Doc’s personality and then letting the sound of his inner turmoil leak out in glorious spurts. The watchword here is ‘catharsis’; ‘Patricia’ never ever ends up a bummer, despite that pained voice and the equally ‘difficult’ subject matter.

Indeed it’s a mini-miracle that this album avoided ending up an interminably depressing slog when you start to drill down into just how dark these lyrics are; the title track sees Dart picking at the scabs of the unrequited romantic feelings he harboured for his psychiatrist Patricia, the woman he outright accuses of abandoning him; ‘Fear of Abandonment’ goes yet deeper still into the Doc’s mental Achilles heel, ominous lead guitar work building the tension as he almost screams ‘the pain excruciates’; ‘I’m Here for You Now’ calls out anti-abortion activists declaring ‘a balance will be struck and shake your faith that day, mine will be restored when you are blown away’, effectively condoning their murder. The strange thing is whatever Dart sings about he always remains charismatic, funny, and yes, strangest of all, likeable. His humorous rantings about small town life on ‘Little Town, Little People’ actually rescue what is the weakest composition on the album and transform it into the most endearing moment, the chorus of ‘go escalate the war on cigarettes, your boring car makes my air filthier’ is a genuine singalong hoot.

The Doc would go on recording more music (most recently under the cryptic title of ‘26’) as well as continuing to upset the establishment with numerous political outbursts. He most recently found himself in trouble for hanging a sign reading ‘SEPT 11 JUSTICE IS SERVED’ outside his house and claiming in interviews that the towers falling is merely a ‘small mirror reflection’ of the damage the West have caused in the Middle East. You can’t say the man hasn’t stayed true to himself, that’s for sure. So yes, it's obvious there’s a lot of associated noise that could totally overshadow the man's artistic output, though really it shouldn’t. ‘Patricia’ most of all deserves better that to suffer that fate; rather than being dismissed as an inconsequential long lost curio delivered by a man suffering debilitating mental anxiety this album should be respected for being an incredibly focused set of songs that reach a near concept album level of grandiosity.



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user ratings (7)
4.3
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
DoofusWainwright
July 24th 2017


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Doc Corbin Dart 'Patricia' full album.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys6N__54YWY



This was only released on vinyl natch.

butcherboy
July 24th 2017


9464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This sounds amazing! Will promptly listen.. amazing job, Doof, review more often don't be a Foof

DoofusWainwright
July 24th 2017


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks butcher, I'm obsessed with this right now

DoofusWainwright
July 24th 2017


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

'Fear of Abandonment' might be the best song ever

NeroCorleone80
July 24th 2017


34618 Comments


Love the Crucifucks, didnt know Doc had solo stuff.

zakalwe
July 24th 2017


38916 Comments


Bloody amazing review.

theBoneyKing
July 24th 2017


24436 Comments


Great review Doof, this sounds interesting.

DoofusWainwright
July 24th 2017


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Cheers Zak, Boney



This album is an absolute classic

DoofusWainwright
July 24th 2017


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

'I'm so sorry I can't punch through...my fear of abandonment {epic guitar squall}'

DoofusWainwright
July 24th 2017


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nero - the first album was only limited release on vinyl, second album even rarer and was only released on cassette.



The 26 album is available for download I think, and is really interesting too.

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
July 24th 2017


10209 Comments


Not sure I'd want to go for a pint with this chap, but you make his music sound fantastic. Will try give it a go. Nice you see you reviewing again doof. Only thing: [fixed]

DoofusWainwright
July 24th 2017


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Good spot, first sentence too smh



He sounds like a scary unstable character but I maintain there's something likeable about him, it's strange. His interviews are really interesting too.

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
July 24th 2017


10209 Comments


First song is as bonkers as it is catchy.

DoofusWainwright
July 24th 2017


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The four last songs are actually the best, plus maybe 'Cathedral'. It's all great though, and bonkers

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
July 24th 2017


10209 Comments


This was damn good stuff. Sort of feels like an unchained Jeff Magnum singing over some more robust and orthodox instrumentation

DoofusWainwright
July 24th 2017


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Glad you dig, its a grower too. Some sites out there have MP3's of it, quality isn't amazing but I had to have downloads of this one

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
July 24th 2017


10209 Comments


Could only find it on YouTube, wasn't the worst quality. May just splash out and get the vinyl, its not unreasonable on Discogs

DoofusWainwright
July 24th 2017


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The downloads are available here, at your own risk:



http://artificiallyinduceddubsyndrome.blogspot.co.uk/2009/06/it-seems-like-lot-of-blogs-posted.html

butcherboy
July 24th 2017


9464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

goddamn, this is brilliant.. johnny thunders, nick cave and just a touch of sex pistols and beefheart.. beautiful stuff, Doof, thanks so much! Falling, Here for You, Little Town and Fear of Abandonment are favourites so far..

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
July 24th 2017


10209 Comments


Found my own from the underbelly of the Internet, blows the youtube version out of the water



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