Saturday, May 04, 2002
Several friends came to his grave / His children were so well behaved / As the priest got up to speak the assembly craved relief / But he himself had given up / So instead he offered this bitter cup
posted by SMc at 5:04 AM
'You're gonna die, we're all gonna die / Could be twenty years, could be tonight / Lately I've been wondering why we go to so much trouble / To postpone the unavoidable and prolong the pain of being alive.'
Set to a beautifully pulsing indie-guitar chime, there (almost) endeth reallyrather's album of the year so far. In all it's glorious gloominess, Control by Pedro the Lion is the most rounded set yet from David Bazan. Lyrically so resigned you end up laughing, the album's ten songs are a blistering chronicle of the death throes of a marriage, domestic casualties of American corporate culture.
Here's the thing that's so much more depressing than the infidelity itself / Darling you're so unoriginal / Each move more obvious than the one before ... And I guess I could be bigger but I'd rather make you pay / You'll see that I can be unoriginal just like you
reallyrather has always considered it a distinct bonus if the lyrics on a good-sounding rock record turn out to be stimulatingly literate and cliche-free. Bazan has a good track record in this respect and keeps up his standards throughout including a contender for the Best Song About Sex Grammy in Rapture. (In a nutshell: 'Wow, this is so good - shame it's not with the wife'). Too wearied and knowing to get just plain furious, this also pays dividends musically, melody and arrangement firmly holding sway over sheer noise. With thick churning guitar often to the fore it's a consistently rewarding set, ranging from the sugar-rush of Rapture and Penetration to the heavyweight drone of Second best. Some boffo drumming propels Magazine and simple, subtle keyboards come and go across the set. Indie-rock with plenty of light and shade, it'll readily please anyone inside the Wheat/Dismemberment Plan/Superchunk/even Everclear spectrum. A weighty contender.
[Not released in the UK yet but why wait? Label Jade Tree is rather excellently selling it for just £9 inc. p&p.]
The Austin Chronicle talks to Paul Westerberg:
Q:'Ever think a royalty check from the Goo Goo Dolls should show up in your mailbox?'
A: 'Put it this way: All they have to do is record one of my songs and put it on one of their greatest hits records then, you know, all would be even.'
And talking of things Replacement-shaped, Munich Records - European home to such as Centro-Matic, Utah Carol, Mother Hips - appear deeply thrilled to have signed up Austin's Grand Champeen, releasing their Battle cry for help in June. "They are the bar-rocking post-posits of the Replacements and Uncle Tupelo," according to one reviewer; more here...