Ears Wide Open: The Great Sadness

The Great Sadness

Guitarist Cathy Cooper and drummer Stephen McNeely met four years ago in Echo Park. The Great Sadness began as a stripped-down folk-blues venture but grew sharp teeth over time. It’s a sludgy crawl through a swamp of doom full of madness and chaotic emotion. Cooper’s voice is that of a possessed witch. She plays guitar and lap-steel, twisting dark blues like a knife to split space open for her quivering voice. McNeely is right there with her, another agent of darkness, pounding his drums like he’s crushing souls. Brutal and cathartic. Their new album, “Weep,” comes out April 20. They recorded with Joe Cardamone (Icarus Line) at Valley Recording Company in Burbank. Wanting to keep it raw and as close to live as possible, they didn’t add many overdubs beyond some sub bass sounds and Moog provided by Cardamone. Cooper says, “He’s the  best, that Joe. He really got what we were doing and finessed it to make it bigger and better.” It was mastered by Howie Weinberg, who has hundreds of many amazing credits to his name, including seminal albums by Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys, The White Stripes, and so much more. “He delivered the rock,” Cooper adds.

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