Album #2 = Rocky Horror Show
funny how things can take the most unexpected tangent
At one point, I had a feeling This Mucky Age was going to turn into some smirking 80’s rip-off. You know the kind of thing, no doubt; a winkingly crap pastiche artefact, a Weimar signifier, plastic ties and charity shop sunglasses in a Hoxton shebeen and snorting vegan whizz off a spunk-streaked 7″ of Hot Gossip’s (I Lost My Heart To A) Starship Trooper… which technically was late 70’s, but like the vast avid Toad of Depression, all bad things announce themselves by squatting on the horizon with a premonitory chill… Like that, then.
It was mainly that the guitar on one track made me think of 1980’s roller discos, Van Allen Belt-stripping hairspray and its uglifying effect on women’s features through the medium of ungainly, paralysed hair, and Fright Night. You’ll have to listen to the album if you want to figure out which one. Just something in the sound, just a suggestion, faint as icy winter memories in a distanced and dyspeptic summer. (I was tempted to do this in a William S Burroughs kinda style, but thought better of it; train whistles down a dusty St Louis avenue… twinge of nostalgia in the junk-sick morning as he probes for a vein… sepia photo nostalgia descends as he shoots smack into his balls. Nahh.)
So yeah, the 2nd album was all set to be quiet and introspective and statement-tastic and shit, the kind of thing that says, Remember Dylan? Leonard Cohen, even? No, of course you don’t, you attention-deficit chimps. (And actually, you’re not missing much.) Well I’m the new guy. Listen to my Serious Serenades in your Bedsit of Romantic Dejection, and weep!
…Thankfully, I got off that trip; think I might’ve had a mild head injury or something. Anyway, it was a quiet album; then I got this weird idea that one of the guitar riffs should sound like an angry, black-haired woman with imperiously flashing eyes, saying “make love to me, you fool,” in a driven whisper; and then it all went a bit retro. The riff in question won’t make the cut because it doesn’t quite work – from my unremittingly male viewpoint, it’s more like a quite plain girl who occasionally looks beautiful at odd moments, peevishly telling you your breath smells of meat and death – but I think it points the way. Already, one reflective folky number’s turned into a hellstorm of cloddish beats, camp electro noise and squealingly macho guitar. It’s Tim Curry’s worst amyl nitrate flashback nightmare.
This, by the way, is an entirely good thing. I love music, and its endless surprises.