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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buy this album, you'll love it.....violently.
Produced by Steve Albini, as was the Pixies' debut Surfer Rosa, this album sounds just as frightening sonically speaking - the drums seem to be in the same room when you play this record and every track bar 'F*ck This Band' has it's bass distorted. It really has everything; speed rock thrills, songs about doing drugs and having sex in a burning barn (!) and a real sense of tongue-in-cheek humour running all the way through it like a stick of Blackpool rock. In a way, bands like this (ie the Pixies) cannot be lampooned because EVERYONE who hears them likes them. A true classic. 10/10.
Standout tracks - 'Dethink To Survive', 'To Hell With Good Intentions', 'Alan Is A Cowboy Killer', 'Gareth Brown Says', 'Whoyouknow'.
Loud guitars, jerky rhythms, hilarious lyrics,
recorded by Steve Albini. What else could you ask for?
The second album picks up the torch well. It could have gone either way. We are treated to a focused blast of early Husker Du sound stabbing F*** You and Pixies riffage.
Lean and mean, they are at their most focused on this record, everything sounds tight, together and as it should be. The excursions aren't as original as earlier work, but the visceral thrill remains.
There in the problem lies. To my mind, the ramshackle, ad hoc bits and bobs soundscape of the first album is what kept it edgy and spot on the mark. This album sounds too clean and too together, without the raggedy arsed charm of My Pain.
Still heads and shoulders above 99.9% of the music out there that purports to be both 'punky' and 'alternative' (they are ironic apostrophes), this is ultimately satisfying, but kinda familiar too.
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