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Archive for December, 2009

AIDAN MOFFAT – Knock On The Wall Of Your Womb (7″, Chemikal Underground)

Posted: December 7th, 2009, by JGRAM

At some point something really bad happened to Aidan Moffat.  I’m not talking about all the drunken antics and shenanigans his poor man’s growling MacGowan songs were talking about but it was some kind of moment of clarity, a weird epiphany it would seem that spoke to him and told him to “stay the course, you’re doing fine.”  Was it his inner child?  Did an angel Aidan appear on one shoulder and a devil Aidan appear on the other and the angel Aidan won?  Whatever it was that happened to him he just fucking changed.

Personally I no longer feel comfortable around his records.  Is this supposed to be some kind of serenade?  What is going on with the music that accompanies this?  It’s almost as if he is betraying his gin soaked roots.  Be foul, be nasty just don’t be like this.

Thankfully the flipside “The Lavender Blue Dress” saves the day as its Ivor Cutler crossed with Irvine Welsh wrapped up in a Dirty Fan Male delivery is the ramblings of a dirty dirty man, like a nonce reading from Dr Seuss.  Its not that content is x-rated it is that the person doing the reading is, the whole concept of the absurd positioning serves to make it seedy and when the inevitable moment of smut you expect is waiting around the corner never arrives once more you feel tricked by the most cunning of foxes.

The back cover of the single features Moffat lying on the floor in a hospital room next to some bedpans and a fan.  I hope he gets better soon.  There’s a ship coming in, its time to get well.

Thesaurus moment: dank.

Aidan Moffat

Chemikal Underground

DEERHUNTER – Vox Celeste 5 (7″, Sub Pop)

Posted: December 5th, 2009, by JGRAM

Initially I thought I was playing this record at the wrong speed but alas a change of speed did not improve things any and suddenly the realisation hit that Deerhunter do indeed sound like a shoegazing vision of The Strokes.  Forget all the My Bloody Valentine and Pavement comparisons, with warm and fuzzy vocals and train track straightness of the guitar line there is no question that they sound like The Strokes.  Now whether that is something to be treasured and/or trusted is another thing.

I have to concede away from the hype and away from the impossible comparisons to match in aspiration taken without preconceptions this is a joyfully mesmerising thing and as proceedings slowly/subtly grow into a swirling mess there is plenty of charm to be taken from the emissions.

The lauding of Deerhunter this year has served as a painful reminder of just how old and out of touch I really am and to now endeavour to party with the cool kids is running the risk of being viewed as some kind of nonce at a disco (or nightclub as I believe they are called these days).  Its all very warm and subtle, snugly in a manner that feels foreign and difficult to/for me.

Elsewhere on the other side “Microcastle Mellow 3” feels like something of an indulgence, a spit in the face of a person giving the band a benefit of the doubt.  Where am I going wrong with this band?  Should I trust my gut instincts or those of a pale skinny kid in clothes several sizes smaller than my own.  Growing old is devastating me.

Thesaurus moment: nook.


Sub Pop

TIMES NEW VIKING – Move To California (7″, Matador Records)

Posted: December 4th, 2009, by JGRAM

There is a distinct air of crappy on purpose attached to Times New Viking and as a result it is a beautifully damaged thing.

“Move To California” for me was one of the standout tracks from their last album Born Again Revisited, an album I initially thought was actually called Born Against Revisited in some barbed tribute to the band of the same name, such is the fractured snap of proceedings.

I’m not quite sure what California holds for these peeps but you do feel it is not much as here appears to be an act that thrives on misanthropy, of not fitting in or having peers or compliments.

The single is housed in a ramshackle package where the inner sleeve is made out of the crappy kind of brown crate paper that in bygone times you would have got your fruit and vegetables handed to you in.  Then slipping out comes the insert which you suspect is going to tell you the name of the pretty girl playing keyboard but instead it is a reprint of an angry email declaring how Times New Viking are the worst band that they have ever encountered.  The suspicion that this declaration is coming from the dude in Kasabian is still to be confirmed.

Boasting four tracks of true enlightenment I have to concede that I think I got my initial perceptions of their album completely wrong.  There is a genuine identity to this recording technique, one away from the origins of lo-fi that only adds to the conceit and methodology.  So as a result coupled with the exuberance and hook display on this single it is win all around.  I love this band.

Thesaurus moment: optimistic.

Times New Viking

Matador Records