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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Thirty Days of Music- Part XI

I have a propensity to be cripplingly shy on first meeting. I'm an introvert, and I don't fare well in large groups of people. But I can thrive engaging a small amount at a time. The art of a good conversation devoid of awkward silences is pinned upon asking questions. Questions, be they trivial, random or slightly more astute, serve as an invaluable buttress to any chat.

And yet there is one question that is more awkward to answer than all the awkward silences in the world comined:

"So, what kind of music are you into?"
If only there was some sort of universal law that response could come in the form of simply handing over your ipod for scrutiny. Instead, any potential answer is beseiged with potholes. If you list off a handful of genres, you sound like a wanker. If you list off a handful of bands the other person hasn't heard of (how do you gauge this?), you sound like a wanker. If you say nothing, you sound like a rude wanker.

I've taken to answering it by just telling people about my favourite band; even if they haven't listened to the music, the chances are if you talk about something with enough enthusiasm, it's a conversational contagion.

I really, truly love Mclusky. I love every song off every album. I even tried to love their acoustic session, but it was too disturbing coming from the band responsible for "My Pain and Sadness is more Sad and Painful than Yours" to invoke appreciation. The wry, dry, obnoxious wit of Andy Falkous' lyrics is unparallelled. For anybody who has read the Falko-penned Future of the Left blog, he is infectious cynicism, sarcasm and overriding intelligence manifest. He's an incredibly angry man, though I've been told he's also very lovely. One of the loveliest and most thoughtful things somebody has ever done for me was when Jamie Fox tried to get some signed Mclusky vinyl for Christmas. Apparently, Mclusky vinyl is so rare that even Mclusky don't have any. It can only be assumed that its rarity is directly linked to its brilliance.

From the inane, crunching power-punk of "Mclusky do Dallas", to the more polished pop sensibilities inherent in "The Only Difference Between Me and You Is That I'm Not On Fire", Mclusky are consistently acerbic, beautifully cacophanous. Jon Chapple's bass is body-reverberating, the drums are pounded with a possessing purpose, and Falko's vocals, so wraught with feeling they come off as an invocation to spit, scream and swear like Regan from The Exorcist, in between the soaring melodic interludes such as "She Will Only Bring You Happiness". Far from the pinnacle of precision, Mclusky were never a band that were tight; always more chaotic than composed, their live performances were never awe-inspiring. In fact they were probably a wee bit crap. But beneath the occasional slop, the soul-driving distortion, true genius lies. My favourite band, inciting heart-rends and headbangs, flawed but ultimately flawless.

Mclusky- Falco vs. the young canoeist

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