When singer-guitarist Melissa Swingle was leading the rootsy country combo Trailer Bride, her dyspeptic drawl had a dark, gothic quality that made for an affecting sound, like Flannery O'Connor set to music. But with her new duo, the Moaners, Swingle may have found an even better vehicle for her dispirited croon. The band's loping, fuzz-drenched blues have all the viscosity of tar, allowing Swingle's thick chords to slowly seep into every nook and cranny offered by drummer Laura King's taut builds and tumbling fills. With her black shades and flat vocal style, Swingle conjures the idea of a hard-hearted bluesman spinning sad tales over the prickly sting of scabrous, overdriven guitar. Whether complaining about an ugly, persistent man on the Mudhoney-style "Terrier" or dressing down a lover on the sinewy folk-blues number "Talk About It," Swingle's blunt, hard-edged observations cut to the bone.