Sunday, 19 June 2011

Day 94: I couldn't live in those peephole places...

This one's a pocket full of lyrics, let's go.

Song: Frightened
Album: Live At The Witch Trials
Year: 1979

This one is one of the only songs on LATWT that takes its foot off the gas for the pace of things, and as a result, there's oodles of room for some lyrics to take centre stage. It's also the first song, which sets up the dark atmosphere well, almost sounding more urgent in line with its rushed recording process.

The music plods along nicely, some great squally guitar lines in the background, but it's all about the freeform drums and keyboards, insistent and present in the mix. Mark almost has to force some more effort from his lungs to be heard and it just sounds way ahead of its time, still does really.

Lyrics pour out in waves for the whole song, quite unusual because I feel around that time, his lyrics were only just taking form, but this is accomplished and full of intrigue. It seems to be about paranoia, something MES returns to again and again. It also hints at his dislike of people knowing his business 'I couldn't live in those peephole places' could mean a small village in the countryside (see his hate flow for these places in Hard Life In Country or Contraflow) or it could mean just people/peephole in general. Of course the paranoia is something evident in the Fall's massive body of work (most obviously coming to mind is Paranoia Man In Cheap Shit Room, but there are plenty more). A lot of his sackings of members may well be down to paranoia inherent in his psyche, although he likens the ethic to running a football team and understands that people grow or can't hack it, which I prefer to think is the truth.

The lines in this are desperate and almost like a cry for help from the character he assumes here, lines like 'I've got shears pointed straight at my chest' and 'In a dark room you see more than you think' suggest drug-induced psychosis but can equally apply to any situation you could imagine, trapped in a job or trapped in a situation, it's all the same. The physical aspect affects me most here, the simple closing lines of 'I go to the top of the street/I go to the bottom of the street/I look to the sky, my lips are dry....' just creates a feeling of panic, of otherworldliness that he would go on to recreate a myriad of times. The constant keyboard is almost mocking when lined up side by side with this song's lyrics, which is why it's such a success.

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