Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Movie Star Junkies

‘I’d like to make you blind with a spoon’ – This Is Not A Light

Deprecatingly termed a ‘typical’ VR band where the main unifying link is that they’re all inadvertently up to the same standards this loosely linked concept based on Moby Dick author Herman Melville is destined to stand as one of the best. Not the sleaze stink you scabby dogs might expect as these Italian insanity-farers wash-up frazzled sea-shanties, surf frantic earth-tremors over subterranean country and hula the still throbbing, disembodied haunch of sixties pop onto a twitching tiki BBQ on vocals like incessant waves of salt-water desperation and guitars terrorising like giant squid tentacles or providing succour to a mariachi maiden as they parley their tales of exasperated existence, shipwrecks, beached affairs, debt, despair, loveless marriages, stranded in derangement, DT’s and disease in a nineteenth century ghetto. Staking enough claims to massacre the vampires in From Dusk Til Dawn for other over-used words like dazzling and breathtaking this as an all too rare occurrence in these days as your attention is drawn in like a man overboard into a whirlpool. Their listed influences of The Birthday Party & The Gun Club comparisons maybe accurate but this then transcends that rifle range by being able to harness the same, if not more, intensity with the inventive shriek of 16 Horsepower and the Murder City Devils final masterpiece In Name And Blood on waves of rhythms rolling in from many shores encompassing fascinating seas yet uncharted by the craziest captains and hushed over by the frightened maritime fraternity. Absolutely barking, utterly unique, should be up in the stars not scrabbling the slimy briny depths, as sinks with all hands on rotten decks those many trite efforts easily praised as being Cave/Waitsian or like pussified, palsied takes on The Pogues.
Stu Gibson
Pirate Love
Black Vodoun Space Blues
Voodoo Rhythm

‘I get high – on your supply’ – Skin Deep

You know those morbidly overused words like unbridled and unhinged? And how they get used on so many bands then you see or hear them and wanna asphyxiate them with nappies? Well, these Norwegian purveyors of primo desperado crematorium blues mania really do refine and purify such terms. Whether the innocuous opening guitar shrugging alongside you before the drill-sergeant sleaze-screech kicks in, caving walls in and making skies go out or the serial killer blues of In A Dirty Cellar ('I hitchhiked your pulse') they're a rock-wilting chain gang cracking up a smorgasboard of sinister urges and dealing tremendous amounts of delirium.
By their name and titles like Shake It! and Death Trip don’t don’t expect a sneaky cheap shot at the Heartbreakers, Stooges or Nuggets from these padded cell paramours. Skin Deep is a fairground carousel that leaves it’s hinges and spins through the crowds and causes bedlam with the demand for the suicidal ride necessitates an all new one, converting the unwary bystanders with the reckless thrills they didn’t realise they were seeking all along.
Sure cynics’ll snipe that much belies large doses of The Cramps (Slumber Blues), Mudhoney (Shake It!), The Cure (Tranquilizer) even The Buzzcocks on spiral galaxy pop rant of Laughing Gas but they’re of such hardcore Pornography that they’d cause the top shelves to crumble into crusty smeg, standing resplendent and proud. And that would be the top shelf of the fucking stratosphere at the farthest reach of the universes conferred on us by Robert Smith’s hair. Elements of The Lords of Altamont and with added despair, derangement and general disrepair, maybe another swipe but these cats’d inhale the exhausts then eat their machines.
Broken Soul #2 brilliantly boots the bonkers promises of Birdland’s Hollow Heart through the fractured noise-masks of Psychocandy and Darklands that shield sullen yet golden hearts lost in a cacophonous cavernous mix with an ingenious verse like you’re hearing them through an underground tunnel while cities burn above and they play on gargling the sulphite and cordite. Seek respite in a cuckoos nest and these boys’ll fly, nay scream, over seven times before you blink let alone think surfing vapour trails and sucking on your city’s black holes.
Despicably astounding, diabolically thrilling.
Stu Gibson
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