Two 7"s, no relation between them - that is, none other than they both come from two of my favourite albums of the year so far, Triptych and Antidotes. Shooting at Unarmed Men's Triptych is a conceptual masterpiece of punk and post punk, executed with admirable brio, I think is the word; Foals, Antidotes an equally impressive indie take on math-rock, mixing Q and not U with Battles and remaining fairly idiosyncratic.
'Sometimes The Only Thing You Can Do Is Die' is the first song from the first disc of 'Triptych', a ferocious song quite typical of what one might expect from the former bassist of Mclusky. It's brief - as you might be able to see by how little of the space on the 7" it takes up - and the jerky speed of the intro was I think the reason it kept skipping, although a new record.
In full, the song - which merges into 'This Song Comes With A Picture', featured on this mix - is gloriously fast and heavy. It's punk not metal, but the riffs could almost be described as 'punishing', and by the screaming halfway-through you can tell Jon Chapple is enjoying himself.
The B-side, 'Missed Opportunities' is the very last, hidden track from Triptych. It's also quite short, a little acoustic ditty but with a strong harmony, great echoing percussion, and a sort of Sixties guitar-pop sense about it. Between these two songs, this 7" showcases the strength of the album - brevity, diversity and a powerful sound.
Shooting at Unarmed Men - 'Sometimes The Best Thing You Can Do Is Die'. PURE224S, 2007 (vinyl rip)
(And be sure to head over to the Fight Like Apes Myspace where from today they have all three songs from their upcoming single to stream, including the 'Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues' cover - which is very impressive. It's much less of a straight cover than their live version, and they've really done something different with the song)
Just by comparison, I'm less impressed with the Foals record than with Triptych, but in itself it's a fine, even excellent, interesting album. Antidotes as a whole is a step beyond their singles, like 'Hummer' which didn't make the cut, and 'Cassius' and 'Balloons' which did. 'Red Socks Pugie', the third song on the album after quality opener 'The French Open', and 'Cassius', is a much better introduction to the album's sound.
While 'Cassius' - one of the 7"s of which I posted here - takes a jazzy, punky attitude to its central hook, 'Red Socks Pugie' is much more atmospheric. I heard a DJ on Phantom one night describe it as having 'a really good beginning, an okay middle, and a really good ending'. It's a sort of nebulous song, shifting gears without having an obvious centre. Yet, it works very well, making some really interesting and enjoyable math-rock-influenced music to listen to. Just like the album, really.
Oh, and it's my birthday today. XXI
Off to see Si Schroeder and Baltimore experimentalists Matmos in Andrew's Lane tonight - the first gig in the excellent 'Future Days' festival in Dublin this weekend, featuring Low, Bonnie Prince Billy and Dan Deacon. Unfortunately, it's the only one I think that I will be going to.
But that's okay, because I have the entire Envy discography - on guess what format? - winging its way to me from Temporary Residence. A belated birthday present.