Sunday, 4 March 2012

Day 123: Abstraction, you know it's the smell!

This is just a perfect song, really.


Song: Proteinprotection
Album: The Real New Fall LP
Year: 2003

Here's a quite direct and brooding piece with some excellent vocals from 2003, now around that time, it was still quite new to have 'sciencey' bits on hair adverts and one thing they always harped on about and still do is the prevalence and importance of protein in hair. As Simon Pegg once wrote for Spaced, all of the words associated with it are 'made up to make hair seem important'. I know this song is probably absolutely nothing to do with all this, but it certainly fuels my rant. The lines about abstraction add to this, often in these ads, protein 'cells' would be bouncing around on impossibly shiney hair in the strangest situations.

Looking closely at the lyrics, it's like a defiant stand really, the repetition of 'Out of the masses/Any time' over and over suggests a middle finger to all and sundry, the stuff about chimney's being king confuses me though, what could it mean?

If, which is very unlikely, the song is about Pantene or one of the many gooey hair products out there, I can't imagine these ads taking up as much time as he gives them here. The whole song seems abstract as he suggests, the music goes from bubbling Sonic Youth-style tension to 60s-pop soaring majesty and back a few times.

His vocals on here sound as if he is addressing someone from a shed on a loud-hailer, and at one point a bee or wasp has flown in and he does that agitated noise that brings to mind the 'Hick-wap-huh' of the Man Whose Head Expanded, which almost sounds like a vocal spasm. The backing vocals deserve a mention on this too, just sublime 'oohs' but lift it from just a throwaway track into something utterly uncanny and richly diverse. A mutated song,  but one that will remain in my head for the rest of today at least.

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