Saturday, 11 June 2011

Day 84: The season for hard drugs and cider mate!

Hello all, back again. I've been really busy this week with not being at home and staying elsewhere for work, I'm actually off to France next week too, will try and find the time with my netbook, but if you don't see any updates, that'll be why.

Onto the blogging proper, today's is a suggestion and I'm glad it's such a good one.

This song reminds me of Half Man Half Biscuit (who I'm sure stole a raft of material from The mighty Fall).

Song: Middle Mass
Album: Slates
Year: 1981

So this one features an incredible bassline that runs through the whole track courtesy of one of the best bass players ever, Steve Hanley. It has a swaggering rhythm to it, all confidence and big gestures. Mark's vocals are great, with some excellent lyrics.

Now what this song is about I've no idea, but it could fit a myriad of explanations. I'd like it to be about football, the talk of summer closed season and the bits about drugs and drink make me think it's about football hooligans, but there's just my interpretation for you. The bits about 'running with and from the cats from tin pan alley' make me think this too, though it could equally be one of Mark's early gangster-like film noir nods, possibly about a young gang member who is naive, unaware of the world. The use of the American colloquial 'cats' made me think this might be the case.

This is actually one of the more listenable songs on Slates, as the rest of the album can sometimes grate, the production differs from the rest of the LP here, all clear and crisp. Perhaps they wanted to showcase that bassline, I certainly wouldn't hide it under reams of fuzz and scratch. I like the clear dynamics on display here too, the spoken parts and the whispered parts bring something else to the whole effort, very nice.

Just a note on Slates, I love the cover to this, which is what looks like a blurry live shot of the band, I always see something else if I catch the cover in passing. I see a night scene with some lights from a distant fire, or I see a bonfire, strange what the mind conjures up, that said, sometimes it's bloody stupid, I used to think the Phil Collins album my parents had (they had some awful stuff) reminded me of tomato soup, it's the one where it's his smug face staring at you, No Jacket Required, I'm glad he has retired from music, I have remembered that right haven't I, I didn't dream it?

1 comment:

  1. I think it's 99.9% given that this one's about the bands then bass player, Marc Riley who funnily enough wasn't in the band much longer.