Mr. Airplane Man – Jacaranda Blue

airplane

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall. This was because the bottom had fallen out of the housing market, and the house had never got finished, leaving the wall standing there on its own. Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall. This was because the wall was uneven and unfit for any kind of purpose at all, including, it must be said, dividing one area from another. The reason for this was that all house builders were profit makers and profit makers only, and were expected only to care about making profits, because all forms of coercion whereby someone had to earn their money honestly had disappeared when the supreme money earners took control of the society in which the house/wall was built. And all the kings’ horses and all the kings’ men couldn’t put humpty together again. Notice how the king himself isn’t having to try and make good the damage that has been done? Leaving it to his men and his horses, who are patently unqualified for the job. And as soon as all the fuss blows over, which it will with the help of a secret PR offensive which will cost a lot more than it would have done to just build the damn house properly in the first place, the king will sell it on again, and it still won’t be built properly.

 

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Heaters – Holy Water Pool

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I’ve chewed on this one a bit, because of how much trouble they seem to go to in order to make the listener think this thing was actually recorded in the 60s. But I’ve come to the conclusion that such a view is the wrong angle from which to look at it.

The most important thing, of course, is the content. How good is this thing on its own terms? Well, for my money, the songwriting is brilliant and the playing is superb. There is a real thrill to the sound; I can imagine the pulsations of excitement of being locked in a room whilst these boys do their thang. The movement is palpable. If they play my part of the UK, I’m interested.

As alluded above, it has been bothering me when people seem to go out of their way to fit a niche. But I need to look at it from another angle, don’t I? Imagine an actor, a theatre one. How convincing is s/he without the mask and costume? A good actor will be regardless, but the accoutrements add to the effect, and this feeds back into the performance itself. This I have understood from experience – when playing in a band whose main purpose is to get the audience excited, an excited audience feeds back into and propels the performance into even further excitement.

So let it be when using a musical mask, perfecting a particular sound. It can be pretty dull recording in a studio (it’s only glamorous for people who have never done it). If you want to make exciting music, then it is entirely legitimate to use whatever hack you can to bring out the excitement in the playing.

It can also be looked at this way: when you go to make something, you choose certain tools. The tools you choose are essential to the finished product being what it is. Sometimes tools are chosen because they are what is at hand, other times you have to narrow down what can be used lest you end up with an incoherent work ruined by using too many unnecessary tools, something which has ruined alot of music over the years.

Heaters are clearly excited by the (sound) tools they’re using, and that is why this sounds as good as it does. Having bloody good material is a help, though. For a reference point, if you know Holy Cobras, these aren’t a million miles away, although maybe less yelpy (technical term). It’s a kind of surf-garage-rock mix, and it has a very 60s sound similar in spirit to the Joe Meek thing.

Thee Oh Sees – Mutilator Defeated at Last!

CF-055coverIt took me aaaages to get hold of this album, which I eventually did by sending off for a physical CD. After which I found I could have bought it from Midheaven… sigh.

If you like Thee Oh Sees – and why on earth would you not? – then this album will push your buttons as effectively as all their stuff from the last 4 years or so.

Some has been made of its apparent heaviness on their labels page – I don’t think its much heavier than their other stuff to be honest. I don’t know what yer actual music critics think because I make it a rule not to read anybody else’s thoughts on music that I know that I’ll listen to myself because I want my own first impressions to be as uncontaminated by expectation as it is possible to be. Also, music critics deal only in opinions, and I’ve yet to meet a single human being who doesn’t have one of those. They become tiresome.

So anyway, have a listen to the album. I rather like it.