Wednesday, December 19, 2018

“You know I feel so…”

12. BRAIN DONOR "Odin's Gift To His Mother" (2001)
From the album "Love, Peace And Fuck"

Introduced to me by a clued-up friend during one of my serious Stooges phases, this act – a three-piece of Julian Cope and two members of Spiritualized, playing some seriously loud, metal-tinged garage rock – were very well received by that me, and were one of the first acts I looked up on the streaming service that shall remain unnamed (unless they want to pay me) – in spite of their pretentiousness.

Pretentiousness?  From Julian Cope?  Surely some mistake.  But yes, even in this stripped-down power trio, designed to play some hairy rock ‘n’ roll with no faffing around, there’s this oddity: a thirteen-minute prog sprawl in four movements (“Theme From ‘Speed Kills’”, “Shamanic 4 A.M.”, “Consecrate The Fucker” and “Huntsabbers’ Ball”, fact fans!) is absolutely ridiculous.

Quite simply put, this is the least feminine piece of music I’ve ever heard.  It starts with an interminably repeated opening riff, hairy of chest and Brut-scented, played at a volume that makes a mockery of the human digestive system, eventually adding a keyboard that, bafflingly, sounds like a choir of Clangers.  On, through the detached, I’m-so-cool-I-don’t-even-need-a-proper-lyric “you know I feel” bit, which frustratingly fails to resolve itself over and over. 

Forward to the twiddly-widdly part that sounds like your stoned mate with his new delay pedal, and reminds me of that quote from Wilko Johnson about the ‘Lord Of The Rings’ being for girls, and on to a stompy, sweary ending that might as well be a “Raw Power”-era Stooges outtake.  It strides on without a care for the listener – you’re either with it or against it, and it couldn’t care less.

This is without glamour, without reason, without sense, without compromise – a huge great slab of a technically faultless but structurally challenging song, and one that actively dares you to stop listening, whilst tempting you with what might happen next.  It is punk doing prog, and it is wrong on so, so many levels.  It is an affront to nature.  It simply should not be.  And yet… 

And yet.  It’s my twelfth most played song of the year, so it’s no surprise that I must like it.  Specifically, I really like that opening riff, dead-horse-beating and all – it has a hypnotic effect, it’s hard as nails and it’s good struttin’ music for when struttin’ time inevitably comes around.  Do I often make it the full running time?  I’d have to say no (which, interestingly, clearly doesn’t effect the count of the number of times I’ve listened to it – seriously, I’ve finished this song maybe twice all year).  But when I do, I’m always glad to have to made the journey.

It's a “Mad World” next time, so let’s “Break It Down Again” before we have to go “Sowing The Seeds Of Love”!  Because NOBODY wants that last one.  NOBODY.

No comments: