This Round’s on Dang Dang Dang

Rick Dang is a multi-faceted motherfucker. He regularly (more so in recent years) records and performs solo, does likewise with his ongoing band project Dang Dang Dang (pretty sure I recall seeing some version of them once in the basement of the Dark Horse Tavern way back in the pre-10 High days… or was it the Star Bar in its teething years… or both?), obsessively chops the sleeves off any and all T-shirts that come his way and somehow still finds time to hold down his stool at the EARL’s bar seemingly every night of every week of every month.

Chemical Illusion, the latest CD from DDD (current incarnation: Dang on vocals, guitar and piano, Stiff Penalty on bass and Eric Young on drums) is rough and unfiltered, but rocks with a lot more sober poetic composure than you might expect. His innate tenderness and vulnerability reveal themselves on “Not as Easy,” while “Poor Little Fool” puts a lackadaisical spin on the chronic lonesomeness that loiters around every song. Meanwhile, piloted by Dang’s weathered bellow, demons-be-gone lyrics and sporadic psych-rock guitar spooge, tracks like “Nick of Time,” “Ah, Life,” “Cynthia” and “Misery” carry the haunted heaviness of Roky Erickson’s spooked sonic exorcisms.