Saturday, 30 April 2011

Day 47: Pop tones...

Another request today, this time from an old mate called Luke, he's requested this slow-burner from the excellent Fall Heads Roll, this particular tracks is a peaceful ocean of calm on what is a volatile and quite punchy album, good choice sir.

Song: Midnight In Aspen
Album: Fall Heads Roll

Year: 2005

This one is quite ghostly and airy, the picked out guitar line harmonising with the bass wonderfully while the drums are gently prodded to create a very pop-sounding song, almost like a light theme tune or a bit of easy listening to these ears. When compared with the bombast and megalithic chaos that happens on other songs on the album (see the caustic Blindness, or the call to arms of What About Us?) it's a world apart, Mark's vocals are suitably reined-in for the mood, quiet, reflective and calm, never breaking into a shout or squeal.

I think the title of the song creates a frosty, snowy landscape in your head before you even hear the 60s-film soundtrack-like music and the lyrics simply build on this, the unusual moment of calm allows a lot of space for rich descriptions to be mumbled and reflected upon, there's talk of fog and ice, but on the whole, the words are free of narrative or deep meaning, seemingly unconnected, especially here: 'Even chain on jeep/Hyphen/Aspen/Utah'.

The only lyrics that make sense together are: 'He aims the highest bestest powered rifle at the stars/Orion/It bounces off/The satellite/He was lucky this week' just a nice bit of freeform painting of words there, who knows what he means, could a man take guidance from an act as strange as shooting at the stars? Could it be based on a celebrity or news story? Who knows, but its a welcome curveball from the band on an album that's packed with vitriol, a nice drop-off before the raging tune that follows it (Assume).

Any more requests? I'm thinking I ought to cover some songs from albums like Cerebral Caustic, Levitate, The Marshall Suite, Bend Sinister or The Frenz Experiment as they all seem to have been neglected so far. I'm not sure if I should start covering stuff off I Am Kurious Orange just yet as some of the songs on there are repeats or reworked songs, thoughts?

My aim is to cover the studio albums first and foremost, then move onto Peel Sessions, live stuff and rarities, but that's a looooooong way off.


  1. Spookily, as you mentioned him on yesterdays post, this is a tribute to the late Hunter S Thompson who shot himself 5 or 6 months before the Lp's release.
    The Line about the rifles refers to Thompson's legendary love of firearms. Even the title refers to where Thompson lived (Woody Creek, in Aspen, Colorado). Much to Thompson's dis-taste Aspen had become a trendy holiday-home town where rich yanks would go ski-ing, hence the snowy landscape.

    Another clue lies in MES' line about 'the constallation of Orion'. I'm no stargazer but isn't the common name for Orion 'The Hunter'.

    Yet another line refers to Thompson's owl-like sleeping patterns. He would write through the night, going to bed when most people would be starting their working day & get up in early evening... '6pm rising'

    MES has, on many occasions in print, talked of his love of Thompson's work. I'm not sure if they ever met but i for one could see them getting along just fine.

  2. That all makes perfect sense, Orion is indeed the hunter, the line about aiming a powerful rifle at the stars could well be to do with Hunter S Thompson's funeral as well, his ashes were fired out of a cannon into the sky over Aspen and there were fireworks taking off at the same time. Thanks for the pointer, again, finding out so much.