This is not a proper music review, which should soon be obvious dreary reader
Shite, over recent experience I’d probably play nice. There’s no need with this record though: cause, by damnable vests of Lucifer It’s pretty good….
Check it, heres a bit of backstory for this CD.
Deathpodal is Mr. Alastair Chivers- who I’ve been on speaking terms for a while, ever since we stole the drummer from his old (and pretty good) band MASAMUNE (code named MASSIVE-MOON) for now defunct SIDCA. Masamune were pretty great as it happens, sort of clever guitar wise, heavy nods to sonic youth and the like but they had a knack of belting out catchy numbers that you could actually remember a few days later. I sometimes rake out the old Masamune recordings on my ipod- and they still sound fresh. Masamune haunts this cd pretty heavily- it’s allmost like the album that they could have made if they had stayed together. I’m not sure if the divorce of that band was messy- probably not, as a lot of ex-Massive Moon personel play on this EXU_WOW joint.
My initial thoughts on this were pretty quickly formed- something along the lines of “ooh, thats a bit of a surprise, not exactly what i expected..” and they remain so. To clarify, Al’s been threatening a release for some time now, probably a couple of years. Before he moved away from the Grey granite shit hole i call home (Aberdeen) and briefly after the funeral of Masive Moon he played a few solo shows- and started putting demo tracks on myspace. They were pretty stripped down and quite accoustic in nature- which was cool it gave his voice a lot more prominence. I was, in actual fact gearing up for a SMOG/THURSTON MOORE type solo record in my head, kind of a one man show- with wierd noises. Not so, this record is more of a full band thing. You know, full band, guitars snarling, drums bashing away and Al in various states of distress over the top.
Like I say, given the initial demo’s and the live shows i was expecting something totally different. It’s good though, and as an opening salvo release it leaves a lot of doors open for the future, some elements remind me of SLINT/BLONDE REDHEAD/THE FOR CARNATION? SONIC YOUTH ETC- but pretty much everything does nowadays, some space rock leanings and sound track type elements. Anyway, I’ve not listened to it that much really, probably I’ll give it a few more spins and see what happens. It is however, slightly short on songs- theres a lot going on, and it feels like its been slowly peiced together- which as Al mentions on his blog recorded al over the place.
So at the moment, a satisfying and challenging listen.
Written March 15th 2010:
The following was bashed out in June 2010: which is probably enough time to let the dust settle:
I came back a while later…months later and now have a wee bit more to say….
Heres the traditional track by track run down that proper music reviews have:
R O B E R T
this kicks off the cd in grand unpredictable style. Off the tracks it lurches witha staccato stabbing guitar- then slowly builds and builds. This is deeply layered and dexterous. There are hand claps, someone rustling crisp packets and eerie David Lynch soundtrack type flourishes. Nice and tidy, and slightly creepy.
Who is Robert? I dunno, but I fancy he met a nasty end and Al decided to write about it- maybe like that horrific James Kelman story “Acid”, this song- like that story is short- but it needs to be. Theres nae vocals on this tune either. This song has a bit of a boner but never shoots it’s load. Yich!
S Q U I R R E L
A N D
T H E
F O X
I have no idea about the in’s and outs of a conversation between a squirrel and a fox- they probably talk about all the bad press they get, the squirrel for killing all those ginger squirrels, and the Fox for chewing the faces off babies. The latter I see as natural selection of a sort. Plus councils need to get their shit together regarding food waste collection. I mean what kind of whatsit are you if you can’t chase off a fox- they are fearty little fuckers- like silly ginger dogs…anyway….this song has some singing on it- I’ve nae Idea what Al’s icy vocals are about though. It rises and falls, swells and crescendos. The drums are a bit clattery and dinnae really cut through too much. But, this is a good song. Wouldnae mind seeing it done over live. Theres some sort of wierd string section on this, and a bizarre horny breakdown at the end- which I quite like, but it’s nay Alice in Chains, but it’s not really meant to be: this is art-rock…. Next….
E V E R Y
S U P E R S T I T I O N
S H A L L
R E M O V ED
There you go min, this is more like it. This track rocks hard. Jarring guitars, Al shrieking like a dole-bludger in the background, it’s all snarling octave chords and jagged rhythms. The guitar playing is fucking great, little snarly blasts of atonal rage pepper this track….disnae sound like anyone else really. Hard, brash and fucking loud. more of the same please…..
S Y C A M O R E
Hmm. This is a bit arty and pretentious. Bit gay. Its good though. Big piano chords, backwards nonsense. REDRUM chic. It reminds me a bit of that collage of noises on the end of one of the tracks of Sonic Youths Daydream Nation CD- you know the one where the guy is giving Thurston a hard time- “hey thurston, did you check the dumpster?, your shit goes out the window” etc. More of an interlude than a song.
T H E R E
D I A G R A M
F O R
T H I S
Yeah, somewhere the blueprints are stored. Dont ask document control: those guys are obstructive conundrums. Best track on the cd this, starts off like a Spiderland out take, creepy and evil, then exploads into white noise guitar, sheets of distortion and raining noise bombs. then theres a wee bit of radio four from a parralel universe.
I think that I must like this CD. Its hard work. memorable but forgettable untill the next time you listen to it. It is also the kind of thing that you have to make time for- it’s no use picking a track for a play list- it requires attention……it has to be listened to as a definite entity. so aye, it’s held my attention- and I’m an awkward cunt…..so it must be good.
“Eclectic, dense and powerfull, Deathpodal challenges you to enter his world….like strong medication you will soon require a regular dose….but this comes with consequences…Deathpodal will damage you in ways you cannot imagine”