If you're tired of punk rock bands scraping clean the stupid barrel to land the lowest common denominator belly-laugh, McLusky Do Dallas might be just the album you're looking for. An incendiary British rock trio that invites comparisons with everyone from Nirvana to the Fall, McLusky specialise in the short, sharp shock: songs that clock in around two minutes in length, but go some way to reinventing the very viscera of punk rock while they're at it. The opening "Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues" is a case in point: an explosion of shattered cymbals and nodule-inducing vocal ferocity that sounds something like post-hardcore merchants Shellac discovering the notion of catchy pop hooks--so perhaps it's no coincidence that Shellac frontman and legendary alternative producer Steve Albini is credited on production duties. But McLusky's strike rate here is literally jaw-dropping: raw, fearless rock songs like "To Hell with Good Intentions" and "Dethink to Survive" landing with a terrifying consistency. But perhaps the most fascinating track is "Fuck This Band", a quiet interlude on the nature of rock music, laced with no mean seam of irony: "Fuck this band / Because they swear too much / It's a obvious ploy / And irresponsible". Equal parts brains, brawn and pure righteous intent, McLusky Do Dallas sounds absolutely unstoppable. --Louis Pattison
In an age where Johnny Rotten not only guests on Richard and Judy, but turns up sober and doesn't swear, some would fear that the lewdness of punk is fading. Mclusky have taken it upon themselves to change all that: the forthcoming album "Mclusky Do Dallas" is the second offering from this vibrant Welsh three piece, and teems with refreshingly impertinent punk rock.
Never overunning the 3 minute mark, they have an unpolished sound, which, in the looming shadow of Nu Metal's cold technical proficiency, is most welcome.
Steve Albini produced the album, and there is a definite Pixies influence, with the fantastically pervasive clattering of Matt Harding's drums, and dark guitar chords veering out of tune.
ButMclusky often lack the Pixies' skill for dynamics. The savage screeching of lead vocalist Andy Falkous drives their ferocity but can become tedious in its relentlessness. We are rarely given the opportunity to enjoy a build up to the frenzy, and emphasis can be lost in Falkous' ceaseless larynx tearing squeals.
At best the staccato anthemic chanting of some of the choruses is reminiscent of Billy Bragg or Weller in his Jam days. Cheeky guitar riffs make for a catchy sound, whilst often hilarious lyrics stick in the mind.
The latter half of the album reveals Mclusky's capacity for writing well crafted songs. Their first single from the album, the infectious industrial "To Hell with Good Intentions" has been in the shops since 11th March. The album comes out in April, and in the meantime Mclusky are doing a nation-wide tour; I have no doubt they impress live.
We may have to wait a few years before they are the consummate recording band that they have the potential to be, but let us hope that the industry nourishes their talent to its fruition. To quote one of Falkous' lyrics "If they [Mclusky] split up you're responsible". --Jack Smith
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