Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Day 99: Back-uh!

Hello all, it's been too bloody long hasn't it?

I'm back with a vengeance, moved in and hooked up rurally to the interwebs, MES will really hate me now, I've moved to the countryside (contraflow?) and they don't even have fibre-optics here yet.

Easy choice for the first song back really, I've actually bought the CD version of the album since being cut off for a while, so here we go...

Song: My New House
Album: This Nation's Saving Grace
Year: 1985

This one manages what I'd term a three-pronged attack from The Fall, not only is it hilarious and foreboding at the same time, but it's also a real heads-down stomper too. It sounds dangerous through its intense repetition which seems to increase with every minute until it is a maelstrom of riff. I think there's even some downbeat sax in there somewhere. As well as that it sounds like blues gone wrong at times, off-kilter and slightly out of tune, just how it should be.

I've probably said it before, but I'm still amazed how This Nation's Saving Grace sounds like an album in the old fashioned sense, sure it has the singles that do stand out, but it moves through a cohesive whole, its like they had a vision of how it should be before they laid it down, ordered planning within chaotic boundaries.

The lyrics are just great, intended I presume as a piss-take of people who bore you with their endless witterings about their boring lives, in this case a new house (which I'm no doubt doing to people now). I particularly like the line: 'It's got window sills/With lead centred in the middle of them' just brilliant, taking the absurdity of the concept to the maximum.

Again, what appears to be a jaunty, fun affair is slathering sugar over a dark underbelly, the lyrics are delivered as ever in a smooth but sarcastic way, but contain such dark gems as: 'Creosote tar fence surrounds it/Those razor blades eject when I press eject/My new house/Could easily crack a mortal' this alludes to sinister goings-on, the fact this character 'bought it off the baptists' makes it even more disconcerting.

That's also something worth mentioning, MES is perhaps the best short story writer ever, who else can paint such a convincing cast of characters within 3-5 minutes? This shares paralells with other songs, a dubious look at religion (Papal Visit) but creates a credible backstory that is begun, expanded on and concluded within five minutes, other songs that do the same are countless. The midnight shooting of Jawbone And The Air-Rifle, the forthright night out of Eat Y'Self Fitter or the horrific realisation of Blindness, they all start and wrap up wholly convincing stories in double-quick time, and you remember them.

The lyrics end with what sounds like a justification of a shit-hole, which I've also done (once lived in a grimy flat with two bathrooms and one working toilet and still thought it was good). The dark ending lyrics again are hidden under the guise of quirky delivery: 'The spare room is fine/Though a little haunted/By Mr Reagan who had hung himself at number 13/ Mr Reagan hung himself at number 13/It'll be great when it's decorated/My new house'.

This is just great, almost like the British reaction to horrific events, chin up and that!