5.0 out of 5 stars
Radishes, 15 Aug 2010
Malcolm Kaksois lives in a strange world. A world filled with empty beer cans, Radishes, and slugs. No wonder he has a lot to say, and his way of expressing himself is by writing songs. He's written quite a few. His sound can only be described as Low-Fi. His guitar, his voice - a kind of screaming mixture of an early David Bowie, and David Essex, with a slight North London twang, some simple drum loops reverberated to the extent that they sound like they are played in a distant church hall, very distant, plus any other sound effects created using the aforementioned empty beer cans, Radishes, and slugs. But that was all up until he brought himself a synthesiser. Now added in to the mix are the kind of swirls and beeps any of the 80s synth pioneers would be proud of on their greatest opuses. It's So Important To Be More Important Than Trash is, to date, Malcolm Kaksois's opus.
The National Anthem (In Drunk Time) The albums opener really does set the mood for this aural adventure. Yes it truly is in drunk time, it is not that National Anthem. No, hang on a second there. He didn't specify whose National Anthem it is, or which nation it belongs to. There's a good reason for that. It's your National Anthem, wherever you are out there in the world, it belongs to you. Kaksois has found what surely is the Holy Grail of great Anthem writing. Edward Elgar and Benjamin Britten must be slowly rotating in their respective graves. He has written an instantly memorable, catchy little, one-fits-all, ditty, in which you can sing the words of National Anthem of your chosen country over the top of, no problem (in drunk time, of course) I really do mean it. Whether it is God Save the Queen, Land of Hope and Glory, Jerusalem, La Marseillaise, Das Deutschlandlied, Kimi ga Yo, or even Maamme. They all fit. It's magic. I don't know how he managed it. But he did. To the best of my knowledge this is Malcolm's first and only venture in to the realms of classical music so far. Well he can tick the box marked write a classical masterpiece. He succeeds where so many modern popular artists fail. Eat your heart out Paul McCartney. Next time you do it, do it in drunk time. This is the song to unite nations, to end all hostility and hatred, all providing everyone is drunk. On this performance imagine if Malcolm wrote song kind of Lord's Prayer. It would be peace and love for everyone, forever. Sorted.
Texture Trash contains a piano hook that Mozart would have been proud of had he ventured into pop music. This is the first real glimpse we have of Malcolm's new sound. It's a gentle step into terrorities new. Still there are the jangly guitars and the reverberated drums so fear not fans of Kaksois. Lyrically Texture Trash is a social commentary of just about everything that he finds wrong with the world today, be it reality television, governments, big business dictation, or the environment. He seems bitter towards it all, or it is just a mid-life crisis at the fact that he hasn't played his part in it all and isn't one of the bigheaded bigwigs he mentions? Texture Trash is in theory the album's title track, but like everything he does it isn't quite as simple as that. It features the album's title towards the end with Malcolm instructing us "it's so important to be more important than trash. Is it a social observation cum motto for life that he is telling us, or simply one of those bigheaded bigwigs shouting at us all in a smarmy loadsamoney way?
The Secret Of Flambard Road starts off with Kraftwerk esque sweeping synths accompanied by a gently strummed guitar and slowly builds into a sweet account of a secret rendezvous and brief sexual encounter. It wouldn't be out of place on an early David Bowie album as one of his tender ballads. But be warned, before you start to reach for any spare tissue paper you may have lying around in preparation for an explicit song. It isn't. It's more of a mystery. Again Kaksois is leaving the listener with questions, as opposed to answers.
A Demon In The Garden Of Eden could easily be taken on board by a Third World religious country as a song to combat Western promiscuous attitudes, if it weren't for its dark delivery. Growling vocals set to downbeat industrial soundtrack with a bit of Ennio Morricone Spaghetti Western style whistling thrown in for good measure. Malcolm comes across as frustrated by something. Maybe he isn't getting his end away enough? Or maybe he is, just a little too much.
The Dusk Became The Day is another low tempo little ditty. Strained vocals that suit the lyrical content perfectly. Telling a story from the hospital bed of a man whose life is slowly ebbing away. It could easily be used as an advert for a Swiss Hospital offering an easy exit. I can just see it now, filled with images of beautiful fields and the sun shining down. Either that or, it could have easily been sung Michael Gambon in Dennis Potter's "The Singing Detective". It's eerily serene.
The Children Behind The Wall. Have you ever heard Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark`s album Dazzle Ships? The main driving force behind this track is a dark beeping that could easily have been lifted from that album. Added to that is Malcolm's heavily distorted vocal complaining about a menace that quite clearly has plagued him for quite some time. Hearing his grievances and begging for more booze to take the pain away, combined with the constant dark thumping beeping is all very hypnotic. Very soon you find yourself becoming sympathetic to this grumpy man's growling remonstrations. The way that the song builds in to an almost heavenly crescendo at the end you're left with the feeling that the beer he demands is the answer, and it really does take him off to somewhere quite pleasant.
Let Me Cut Your Hair is a beautiful love song of devotion and passion. Well, it is from the view of vocalist. In this song Kaksois becomes really scarily obsessed like the worst crazed stalker you've ever dreamt up in your wildest nightmares. The echoing scissor sounds that continue throughout the song mixed with Malcolm's deep psycho vocal imploring the listener to trust him all the while he pays compliments upon his victim all add to make this one of the most disturbing songs ever written. Do not listen to this song alone, in a darkened room. You'll cack your pants, if you're wearing any.
Amazing is a beautiful love song of devotion and passion. No, this one really is.
Intercity Lone Drinker is long. It could easily be A New Order 12" remix from the 80's. A magnetic synth line with a driving beat that draws you in. Malcolm's vocal in this one is a spoken tale of an uninvited travelling companion who seems to get around quite a lot. All the while the music builds and builds. One wonders if Kaksois has been cursed by this scourge to society, or indeed if he feels that he is in fact this nuisance himself. This is the constant ambiguity in Malcolm's music. Always leaving you with more questions than answers. Always provoking thoughts in your mind. Intercity Lone Drinker can easily please the crowd at the hippest of clubs as it can stimulate you, alone in your darkened room.
Two Little Girls features Malcolm's Australian cousin Bruce Kaksois as guest vocalist. Alright, I kid you. It doesn't. But it could. It also could easily be sung by Rolf Harris the next time he has a guest spot at Glastonbury. Jangly guitars with bright synth lines that could sit on a Human League track and a sad tale of a guy with two little girls. One of which is the apple of his father's eye whilst the other is the black sheep of the family. All completely bonkers. Just like the whole album.
It's So Important To Be More Important Than Trash will have you laughing, smiling, singing along, taping your foot, dancing around your handbag, rousing your mind, feeling empathy and sadness, crying, and seeking cover behind the armchair. If you fancy doing all of that in the space of 40 minutes, buy it, play it, and just make sure you have some beer beside you to enhance the experience.