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Beyond The Silver Screen,
This review is from: Crazy Clown Time (Audio CD)Truth-be-told I haven't always warmed to David Lynch's cinematic visions
(although his 1977 feature debut 'Eraserhead' remains a work of dark genius).
The soundtracks to his film and TV work, however, have always fascinated me.
Like the German director Werner Herzog, music has always been an important
adjunct to his labours. 'Crazy Clown Time' is a bit of a surprise, therefore,
in a number of ways. It stands up on its own two feet without the need for
accompanying visual material and although as sombre as one might well expect
from this fearlessly left-field artist it is nonetheless both accessible and
enjoyable in equal measure. Dean Hurley has done a sterling job as producer.
There are fourteen numbers in the collection, running the gamut from near-
nightmare (the claustrophobic 'Noah's Ark') to the almost jolly (crikey you
can shake a leg to 'Good Day Today'!) Mr Lynch provides most of the vocals
himself with a little help from Yeah Yeah Yeahs' singer Karen O (heard in
fine voice on opening track 'Pinky's Dream') and he's clearly enjoying himself.
His nasal, almost-drunken, quasi-comic turn on the grinding 'Football Game' is
an absolute hoot! The guitarist, with a splendid staggering reverb-sodden
performance, seems to be vying with Mr Lynch to see who can stand up longest!
The blues seems to never be too far away in the fabric of the arrangements.
'Strange and Unproductive Thinking' bobs along on a frisky beat and sports
vocal treatments highly redolent of Laurie Anderson (a kindred maverick soul)
and the spirit of Nick Cave is not so far away in the wild-western ghost-town
instrumental 'The Night Bell With Lightening'). Title track 'Crazy Clown Time'
ranks particularly high in the weird-but-wonderful stakes; its unsettling falsetto
vocals unfolding against a four-square backbeat shot through with uneasy
twisted guitar accents and a half-heard commentary which you really wouldn't
want to intrude into your dreams on a cold November night after imbibing too
much Wild Turkey and a bucket-full of Cool Ranch-flavoured tortilla chips!
Final track 'She Rise Up' is the stuff of lonely streets and long shadows.
Whilst not being the kind of album you might want to listen to just before bedtime,
Mr Lynch's idiosyncratic musical landscapes will doubtless find their place in
the listening world and amongst the many fans of his works for the silver screen.