Monday, November 26, 2007

Fuck This Band (Mclusky singles)

they swear too much


Last Friday week, I went to see Fight Like Apes in Whelan's, Dublin. Fantastic gig, really good show. I would find it difficult to describe Fight Like Apes; kinda like The Yeah Yeah Yeahs meet Dan Deacon. Throw in a few words like punk, electro, etc., or just click the link above and have a listen. Two minutes of your time.

Yet while Fight Like Apes themselves were phenomenal - that is, their own material, of which there is only 2 EPs or otherwise, 8 songs, of - a real highlight of the gig was their cover of Mclusky's 'Lightsaber Cocksucking Blues'.

I had read, in an interview the band did with the college paper, that some of their influences were 'Mclusky, Pavement and At The Drive In'. Of course, that wasn't meant to be in any way exhaustive or encompassing, and Fight Like Apes probably don't sound like what you would first think of upon combining those three bands. To be pedestrianly accurate, it would be better to pencil in the Pixies before Mclusky, since both they and Fight Like Apes, I reckon, consciously take a lot from their music.

Both my friend and I, who had gone to the gig with me, were pretty stoked to hear this song. It is the first track off Mclusky Do Dallas and, really, it changed the way I thought about music. 'Lightsaber Cocksucking Blues' made noise cool for me. That white-hot sonic anarchy, the complete abandon of scatological lyrics and eye-popping vocals, it took me out of any disillusionment I may have been having about the ability of punk rock to physically and musically move me. Naturally - and I assume this is the same for most people - my tastes have hardened over time, grown less delicate - but for me Mclusky was a quantum leap, a paradigm shift (perhaps, a la Dilbert, one without a clutch).

Given what the song represents to me, to see it performed live was amazing - and by an excellent band in their own right, in their oh-so-different but reflexive Mcluskyite style; so I am determined to bring this band to Hardcore for Nerds again, because if this isn't hardcore, I don't know what is.

fuck this blog

But before I get to what I am about to post, a few words about this site. Fuck This Band marks the fortieth post on my music blog, and a little over three months of 'discordant suburban whiteboy blues' (thanks, sweetbabyjaysus - jay - for the encouragement, and for all the kind, wise and literate words then and since; thanks of course to blend for showing me that this kind of thing could be done in the first place [and for graciously allowing me to copy his layout and style, pretty much] as well, thanks to everybody who has commented, linked me, hell, anybody and everybody who reads this thing... go raibh maith agaibh, slán agus sláinte). It's been fun; hopefully it will remain so.

Yesterday I found this blog - Jimmy Buttons - which had linked the You Made Me Realise Post from below as part of his weekly round-up of mp3 blogs. Something else this guy wrote caught my eye:

"i'm not going to link to blogs that don't spend time on quality posts. it's one thing to not have any valid info about a band, but to create a blog for posting music without as much as a few words about your posts. that's just lazy!!"

That really connected with me, because that is the ethos of this blog. Quality is something I strive for, but it is an effort I profoundly enjoy. My attempts at writing, creativity, humour (!), description, lyricism and exposition of wonderful music, they form the heart of this blog for me. The artwork, the dl links, the pacing of titles, are like the surrounding body: beautiful to look at - of course - tangible and enjoyable, but unable to survive without the core.

I won't try to drag out the metaphor any further, but you, the readers, fit in that scheme somewhere too. To, consequently, drag in something I've been learning a bit about these days, this blog is a discourse. I make the decision to post a record, not just to satisfy my own likes, but to see perhaps what people think of it. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life, so I tend to hop around the various genres and permutations of 'punk' - that ever-mutable term - which I listen to. It's nice, therefore, to know what in particular interests you.

My agenda is neither entirely obvious nor ulterior, and from time to time I do have a clear mental list of what to post (usually reflected in the 'Coming Soon' list at right). Hardcore for Nerds, not suprisingly, has been a process of evolution, as I have discovered and accomodated to what can be done in this space. It still needs input - which is where you come in:

Leave a comment; join the discourse of sounds.


Finally, on to the music. Like I said, I'm posting Mclusky again because I think they are fucking hardcore. So I'll keep this loud, fast, and short. Well, Mclusky will provide the loudness and speed; I'll just keep the review brief.

Firstly, 'To Hell With Good Intentions' is probably the best-known of all Mclusky songs. The keynote piece of their classic album, it received a lot of airplay back in the day and still gets the odd spin. It's actually a little slower than the average Mclusky song, even a little staid, but it still rocks. This single has three other songs with it, so plenty of exercise for those ears:

Mclusky - To Hell With Good Intentions

Secondly, 'That Man Will Not Hang' is my favourite of all their singles, mainly, as you will see, on account of one of the b-sides. The title song is off their third and final album, The Difference Between You and Me Is That I'm Not On Fire; incidentally, all their b-sides are available in the one disc in their Mcluskyism anthology, along with a first 'best-of' disc. Anyway, because I like this so mcuh I wrote a review for it a long time ago, which I intended to post on eMusic but, for some reason, didn't:

"“That Man Will Not Hang” is an ideal single - one of those typical Mclusky songs which combines humour and heavy guitars. The first B-side, “The All Encompassing Positive”, starts off very Pixies-like with the one heavy drum beat, over and over – and then there’s a sudden halt, and the song erupts into wailing, all-encompassing, high-pitched guitar noise. Just amazing. The second, “The London Whine Company”, a demo, is again quite Pixies-like, starting off slow and then quickly accelerating as the vocals fall apart into frantic shouts. Basically, this is top-notch Mclusky – the band at their musical apex."

Yeah - what I said:

Mclusky - That Man Will Not Hang


jimmybuttons said...

fantastic man, thank you for your comment and the plug in your post!! i have added you to my blogroll, and proud to have you there!!

finding your blog is a breath of fresh air in the smoggy mp3 blogosphere these days, where records are posted in haste without a word or even single reflection on the music contained within.

i'll be looking forward to future posts!!

Darren said...

hey there nice blog you've got here... and Mclusky are definetely hardcore! One of my all time favourite bands, Falkous is an absolute genius. Anyway i hope you dont mind, ive added you to my blog roll

gabbagabbahey said...

ooh, another glaswegian! no probs, good luck with the blogging... I'll keep an eye on your site.

ps, I see from your profile that you're fan of 'On the Road'. If you haven't seen it already, you should check out my other blog, Steady Diet. It's about 50% Kerouac by this stage...

David said...

great post! I've loved mclusky ever since I heard "What We've Learned". I'm still on the fence regarding FOTL however....

gabbagabbahey said... too. None of their stuff sticks in my head, altho I suppose it might grow on me yet.