(Go here for the original post)
Two bands represent the best of Irish music for me at the moment - Fight Like Apes and Ham Sandwich - and I really like them both, but if I had to make the choice I'd have to go with Fight Like Apes because:
1) they are from Dublin and
2) they like Mclusky
Good news, then, that Fight Like Apes are coming back from their UK tour (before heading off to Seattle to record their first album) to do a short Irish circuit which will finish up with a gig in the Village with Future of the Left, on April 13th. Result!
"A welcome return to Mclusky with a slice of deranged, inventive and skewered punk.
A stopgap release prior to their third album, said to be due out in September, this double a-side finds Mclusky in top form. Produced in Monnow Valley by Richard Jackson, its a slight progression from their usual jagged punk territory, but with all the best elements still in place.
Welded to a jagged razor riff, There Ain't No Fool In Ferguson is an unhinged, spitting rant clocking in at well under three minutes.
"If you can cope in this hopeless hepatitis piss-rag Molotov cocktail monobrow shithole, baby, then you can cope anywhere at all," snarls Andy Falkous like his independent American punk record collection depends on it. Whatever's going on in the collective head of Mclusky, it's based in a dark place indeed.
AA track 1956 And All That is slower, finding Andy Falkous screaming words about killing, with a kiss-off yelp of "Your son looks like Michael Jackson". Fantastic."
"We're sad to report that the recording of Mclusky's feverishly-awaited third album has been put on hold for a few months, thanks to a parting of ways with hard-hitting sticksman Mat Harding.
But Cardiff's premier band of sarcasm-heavy punk noiseniks have not let us down yet, and new single Undress For Success reaffirms that pledge with charmingly wonky style.
A cyclical, naggingly jaunty riff revolves over and over as frontman Andy Falkous barks out non-sequiters in a staccato voice that suggests a sergeant major on the brink of some very surreal madness: "Let's have Abraham for breakfast! Underexposed and dead wrong!"
It's a damn sight odder than the bracing rock roar of McLusky Do Dallas, but oddly addictive - so much so, that Radio 1's Colin Murray premiered by playing it three times in one show. A potential breakthrough disguised as a nervous breakdown, then: how typically Mclusky."
I mentioned in relation to the previous 'No Covers' art post (itself a Mclusky reference) that I would post some original artwork of mine. The covers in that post were of course made from my own photographs, but not anything done by hand, exactly.
The piece above is a pen sketch I made of a photograph (the lazy artist's shortcut), of an iced-over stream in the Wicklow Mountains taken a few years ago. I like to think I was influenced by Japanese-style drawing - minimalist, suggestive; abstract(ed) yet communicating the 'essence of its subject. But my experience is that people don't know what I'm drawing in the first place (the top part is a lump of ice, and the lower a stream of water, by the way).
In any case, I decided to use the drawing as the basis for a back cover of the Mclusky singles. Each of them I bought legit from eMusic (hence the links) but that only provides a small image of the front cover and leaves the rest up to the imagination. One of the reasons why I chose this particular artwork was that it echoed slightly the very stylish Too Pure logo.
Below are the backs of each of the sleeves for the four Mclusky singles I've posted here: in order, 'To Hell With Good Intentions' and 'That Man Will Not Hang' from the last post; 'There Ain't No Fool in Ferguson' and 'Undress for Success' from this post. Let me know what you think; you can tell from the smudges, creases and odd marks that they are well listened to - and they even get that circular imprint from the disc inside, just like a real 7" cover!