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Escape from Tedia
on 16 September 2010
Knocks around with the swagger a revved up, revived Stooges should have mustered and blasted. Instead they nosedived into a non weird world of tack with their last album. They play the oldies with their hearts on their sleeves but the Ig cannot deliver the new.
This kicks into Troggs/Stooges riffing after a quiet interlude allowing Nick to drip his colloquial non tender sexualised lullabyes of an excess all areas middle youth libido. Why "grow" anywhere if you do not want or need to?
Like Andre Williams many shaded output this lays down a marker for a continuation of not being bothered by neighbours or "settling" down into mowing lawns, developing bog standard views and getting red in the face about young people's antics. Life unfolds in fragments why waste energy?
Song lyrics primarily mustering the chemicalia for ushering the untamed feminine to transform herself from domestic slave to pagan ubermensch. The woman who leaves the dishes in the sink, consuming her existence rather than things, blasting into another cosmos other than Laura Ashley's flowers, a head buried agape in Heat photoshop or bouncing along to Horse and Hounds. The third song in particular opines for call and response of sombre psycho delica ushering in this form of feminima, conjurng the Heathen Child, a new form of being, beyond good and bile.
"Is there anyone out there wasted their lives? On booze drugs husbands wives and making money?"
Nothing ironic about this. Marketed by Mute as four men strutting their stuff, this cocks an extended leg against the tree of life offering a political yellow stream into the darkened wood. Cave delivers an existential right hook to self medication to fend off reality. A bugle call for stripping and skinky dipping in the worlds of Bacchus, savouring moments of excess, instead of obliterating the current senses.
"What I know" wheels out adolescent and adult dreams of heroics, putting life on hold for the big event, believing something noble will unfold, whilst sexual release, the combination of molten bodies in ecstasy are the only reality that pants a picture.
The themes reflect the long gaze backwards from middle to the dreams of youth, detailing inhabition of other worlds. Palace of Montezuma is a Bad Seeds song; the lyrics replete with delicious offerings the softer musical tones fail to segue.
Bellringer Blues returns to pagan jumps of untamed joy sliced with Stooges psyche guitar drift, less punk, more Coltrane abstract, they deliver salvation in this world not the next.
Don't believe the hype, this is not four men with beards letting their hair down, making musicale trite. It's four middle youth men, with artistic space to explore and communicate "Is that all there is?"
Live, two nights over the Elephant and Hammersmith this album roared into life driven by the sweat and passion of Cave and Ellis whilst the bass and drums kept it all in a semblance of order, the two maniacs delivered a blast into magma.
Instead of beating their collective heads against the wall of cynicism, they signpost one escape route from the land of tedia. It looks as if not many people are willing to follow...shame