Record Review: Howell Dawdy — ‘It’s Gonna Stink’

Have you ever considered that the nuclear apocalypse is going to smell bad? Well, the title track on the latest album from satirical hip-hop artist Howell Dawdy is here to spread that gospel, comparing the hypothetical odor of the end of mankind to “an abandoned Red Lobster” or when “a vacuum cleaner activates the carpet.” He turns existential anxiety into absurdity, and he does in his own nuanced, sharp way, taking material that could be completely ridiculous — or wildly frightening — and making it magnetic. His deadpan comedy can bounce from quirky to dark, and the rest of the album is lighter than the title track. For example, “Glossy” — a spoof of sleazy dance club songs — is mocking at its finest. Underneath the goofy surface, Dawdy is a poignant social observer and commentator. —Scott Recker