Acid Mother’s Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
Myth Of The Love Electrique
I’m about to begin working at an advertising firm, it’s a proper job, nine to five. I’ll probably have to work late a bit and I’ll probably not be able to go out on weeknights too often. I’m going to have to give up taking as many drugs as I do now as well, even working at a trendy sneaker store is hard enough after a gram of mdma two nights previously, I sell people Air 180s and want to cry, or if I’ve been doing coke I whisper obscenities under my breath at tourists who ask for European sizes and punch the stock room walls because I’m all raged up and I can feel it in my chest. This is all fine when all you do is serve cunts with expensive footwear, but I’m going to have a desk and responsibilities, I’m going to have to communicate ideas and answer the telephone politely. I have to stop misbehaving, grow up and knuckle down. I used to think I’d always want to fuck around and that I’d never get a proper job, I thought I’d be like the man in the Bill Hicks routine who jacks in his job to get up at noon, smoke weed and learn the sitar -and I’ve more or less done that in the past- but I’m not so into being a wasteman anymore, I want structure, routine and a decent living wage. Here’s what it is: I fucking love money and possessions, I want a big house and I want to make my parents proud for a change, be a respectable human being. I used to listen to Crass.
Acid Mother’s Temple probably don’t care what their parents think or care about cash and that, they play tripping-balls space rock and that’s their life, I bet they love it and they’re all best friends, and they don’t have insurance or mortgages and they have loads of people in loads of countries who’ll do anything for them, put them up, feed them and let them stay as long as they want. I don’t know but they probably all live together on a farm like Crass except they’ve got a sense of humour and their music’s not shit. This is fucking good music, retrogressive with a twist of fuck off we do what we want, moogs and feedback are involved in a big way and everything’s twenty minutes long. There’s a freedom and a questing spirit, that sounds completely ridiculous but I’m not even joking, it’s wild, it sounds like wizards casting spells in a storm AHAHAHAHA I’m not joking though. I am into the inlay too, all these old longhair Japs goofing around, they know how to live. When I get to forty-five I bet I’ll have a mid life crisis like Kevin Spacey in American Beauty and do bongs, listen to this and fuck an eighteen year old cheerleader. Hopefully I won’t get shot in the back of the head.
Shit And Shine
Jealous Of Shit And Shine
I pretty much try to fuck every girl I meet, I’m really into proving my worth as a man. It’s not because I love sex, it’s because I need the validation, both from the girl, my peers and myself. I actually hardly fuck any of these girls, most of the time I just take it as far as establishing that if I wanted to fuck them I could, then I realise that actually fucking them would have consequences so I back off. This behaviour stems from a course of antidepressants I was prescribed about four years ago, they made me fat and killed my sex drive, I didn’t so much as touch a woman for two years, it was the worst thing ever. It took me a while to lose the weight and even longer to regain my confidence, and after a few false starts I got back into the swing of things about eighteen months ago. Now it’s this thing where I have to make sure everyone including myself knows I’m not a fat, sexless loser anymore. I tend to go for posh girls at parties in the East End, I’m a posho myself but I wear a lot of Nike and have a baseball cap and Reebok shoes so I occupy a mental space for these girls where I’m not too far removed from them but still a bit naughtier, like a cuddly bit of rough -that’s my niche. The whole thing -even the sportswear- is about reclaiming and affirming my masculinity, but as well as all that, some girl this summer really fucking screwed me over so now I can add my desire to exact revenge on all of womankind into this bubbling cauldron of insecurity, testosterone and self-loathing. What a creep eh? What a nasty guy. What a hateful little man.
Being a man is full of this, you might have a dick but you’re really just an arsehole, you have to come to terms with it. Admit that on some level you want to fuck and fight and see blood and that sometimes you hate yourself for not being man enough, and that sometimes you can be cruel and hateful and arrogant and bloody-minded and pathetic, and you love doing coke and seeing dead bodies and you check the length of your dick with a ruler and you’d probably fuck a fifteen year old if you knew you could get away with it. It feels good when you admit it all to yourself, like a PC weight has been lifted. This record is full of all these masculine honesties, secrets and embarrassments; testosterone let loose without remorse. It is sort of part power-electronics part drunk Melvins, full of clipping bass amps, awful electronic drones and primitive drums. There’s all these nasty barely audible samples about black men being arrested or someone saying ‘fucking wanker’ or something about someone being gay but you can’t really make it all out, like these horrible little grumblings from deep in your foul little male mind that you’re not really sure you think. There’s a lot of mindless thunking and brutal violence too: remind you of anyone’s inner monologue? Yes, yours. The best bit is one dumb riff that goes on for thirty minutes, which is like arguing with your girl and just going on and on and on even though she doesn’t really care but you’re just talking and shouting to prove a point that is actually a pretty stupid and ignorant point. Being a man is terrible.
The early CD pressings of this have a bonus CD of their vinyl only release ‘You’re Lucky To Have Friends Like Us’, which is like ‘Jealous of…’ but with more live instruments, a sample from Countdown and a pretty jokes cover of Do It Again by the Beach Boys done in French, badly. There is a relentless sloppiness and a very black humour at work with Shit And Shine, I reckon that to fully ‘get’ them you might have to be the worst person in the world, but as it turns out, we are all that person once in a while.
Au Revoir Simone's new album
About three Saturdays ago I had to go to this working class London suburb called Carshalton to take some photos of a really low-league football match and interview some fans for my work at this advertising and research company. The day didn’t start well, I woke up late and I was really hungover, and I kind of wasn’t in the mood for doing anything work related, I’m not even in the mood to do work related things at work, so this weekend shit felt like an imposition. It took my buddy George and I far too long to get to Carshalton from South London, we had to change on a bunch of over ground trains and wait around at one station for about half an hour. These kids on the platform opposite to us were screaming and yelling and really pissing me off and kick-started my coke comedown rage and I ranted at George about the state of humanity for most of the half hour wait, I think I really bummed him out. The other thing was that we were supposed to have met my other buddy Ben at Carshalton station half an hour before we’d even set off, so I genuinely felt like a total cunt for being so late, it was hot and sticky and I hated myself a bit.
When we finally got to Carshalton we found Ben in a really fucking hard pub nursing a pint and looking scared. He’d had a four year old girl coming to talk to him and sit opposite him for ages while her pikey father eyed him ominously with the definite look of a Sun reading nonce-lyncher. Ben was uncomfortable. We made him stay for another beer though, and I asked for directions to the football ground from some men at the bar, I couldn’t have sounded more like someone who was not from the area. They gave me very confusing directions and one of them made a comment about us looking funny. We left real quick and spent half an hour walking around trying to find the football ground because I hadn’t paid attention to the directions at all. We found it in the end but the match was pretty much over, we took a bunch of photos and Ben and George started about missing the Tottenham match, they hadn’t met before today and it was good that they had some common ground I guess. This was kind of the point the day turned around and started to be fun, suddenly we were a unit in this weird little town, miles from civilisation. We started joking about what we were going to say in the interviews that we decided we were going to make up, and things started falling into place. When we left the game the fear had gone a bit and it was starting to feel like an adventure, and as we were just about to retrace our steps and head for the station Ben was like ‘nah, lets go this way’ and we started walking into the unknown just for fun.
We found a newsagent and bought some ice creams and kept on walking and chatting in the sun, and we came across this really big, well kept park that was lovely except for NF graffiti all over it, and so we bought some fucking beers and sat in it. I hadn’t really seen Ben properly for a few years until about a month before this trip, I mean, I’d seen him around but he’d always had this girlfriend who didn’t like me, so we hadn’t really talked for about four years, so it was great to talk to him again, he’s a funny bloke and we’ve got a lot in common. Plus, George is my oldest friend, I’ve known him since I was four, he’s this weird lanky posho with a heart of gold and he’s pretty much game for anything and really witty. It dawned on me at this point, about halfway down my first Stella, what great company they were and what a nice time we were having. We drank a bunch more beers and talked about a load of things, we covered a lot stuff, mutual friends with interesting problems, childhood anecdotes, ex-girlfriends, boarding school japes, the worst bands we’d ever been into. It was fun as hell, and when one of us went for a piss behind a NF tree and came back with a massive Super Soaker that some I guess some kids must have abandoned it was like someone had planned it, we chased each other around with it for a while and I swear I haven’t laughed that much for years.
When we got up to leave we’d been in the park for four hours, we walked for ages more and found the station again, Ben found some coke left over from the night before and we all did a bump each then our train came, we were heading back into town as the sun was beginning to set, and I kind of realised that we were better friends now than when we had been at the beginning of the day, I looked out of the window, I was happy drunk and a bit high and I was kind of thinking about my new girl too and this kind of warm, positive melancholy came over me, all three of us kind of grinned at the same time and I guess we all thought the same thing, like, this was great, this is great, life is good. This record is kind of like that moment after that day.
Playtime is Over
I used to work in a warehouse packing flyers to be distributed to public spaces around London, and it was nice work, methodical and calming. What happened was there was a list of boxes that we had to send out to different destinations, there were a few types of box, like one type of box for artsy places that we’d have to fill with flyers for plays, galleries and classical concerts, or for children’s libraries we’d put in flyers for zoos and fun museums etc etc etc, and there were lots of numbers and letters referring to different types of box and a brilliant stacking system relating to the order things would be delivered in, it was all very satisfying and organised. I could have worked there forever, I just brought in a few cds every day and listened to them and got on with it all. It was just enough to do so you were never bored, but just little enough that you could concentrate entirely on the music playing or your plans for the evening. However, the problem with doing stuff like working in a warehouse or even JD over a summer or just after you’ve left college or whatever is that you have to endure talking to people who will actually be there forever.
Listening to thick people’s opinions is a fucking nuisance when all you want to do is daydream and count the hours until home time. That’s kind of what spoiled that job for me, there was this dumb rudeboy there who just chatted shit all day about the drum and bass he produced and how he was actually very influenced by System Of A Down, the reason it was sometimes reasonable to carry a gun and how his school had had a vendetta against him for some reason or another. It got so fucking boring that I had to quit. The funny thing about this is that this bloke said he had been forced to leave his last job because there was this really boring stupid bloke who talked too much, about how his music was going to make it, how he used to be a gangster but now he’s making a go of it as an upstanding citizen and about how he could get along with anyone and all these other boring ideas that he had about himself and how he wanted to be perceived. The bloke who bored the bloke who bored me was actually Wiley, and that has coloured my opinion of his music since then. He just makes me want to make an excuse about going upstairs to check the rota with Colin or go to the toilet for the seventh time in the afternoon to take a little breather from the barrage of idiocy. The problem with grime is that much of it is made by people who didn’t even make it to year eleven and so are desperately inarticulate, both generally and emotionally speaking, so it’s often extremely embarrassing to listen to. This is kind of excusable when they’re all eighteen and silly, but Wiley is a man in his thirties doing songs with ‘txt spk’ titles. I know he’s the originator of the sound etc etc etc rah rah rah and the music’s ok on this but I just can’t take what a dumb fuck he is, it’s literally killing me.
On the first Godflesh mini-LP from 1988 there’s a picture of the band in front of a grim building site, they look really ugly. They were a pair of rotten crusties, they hated mainstream society, they were from a poor part of Birmingham and one of them played on ‘Scum’ by Napalm Death. I bet the pair of them fucking stank and had all the social graces of the people Sting brought over from the Amazon. Presumably there was something genuinely menacing about them then, like there was about the hardcore kids in America in the earlier eighties, it wasn’t art school or high fashion then, it was rank and it was threatening.
These days all the art fags and hipsters like ‘extreme’ music, or at least it’s all about being into it a few years ago, like they’re saying ‘I was angry and dangerous before I became so self-effacing and articulate’. It’s a ploy to get laid, they want to tread the line between primitive, angry young man and well-read chap who knows about expensive suits and wine. I think it’s about covering all your bases. The thing is that’s a totally reasonable thing to do and I have totally done it in the past, but it’s completely negating any danger involved in the music if all these middle-class gaylords who went to private school (me and my friends) are into it. That’s right, I admit it, I am destroying hardcore, black metal, doom and industrial music for the people who really mean it. All of it is becoming gentrified, and the joke is that a lot of the bands seem to be helping too, they all shout at us that we’re trendy cunts when they come and play the Old Blue Last, but we love that, cos we all think we’re not and that they’re talking about everyone in the room except for us. If they hate us why do they fucking play there anyway?
So HTRK is just gentrified Godflesh, there’s a picture of the band in the sleeve and they’re all topless (even the girl!! Wow!!) and they’re all skinny and pretty and it looks like a Terry Richardson photo and one of them’s actually drinking red wine. The music’s fine, industrial and grim I guess, but whatever, you know? If people get into this then what to we have left to be scared of?
The Young Gods
Don’t you love how gracefully New Order have aged? They’re patrons of the arts, dress smart and neat, write books and enjoy family life and football. Plus, they make pretty sophisticated, relevant music that refers as much to their heritage as the present musical climate. I hope I’m like that when I’m old, like, I haven’t lost touch completely and retreated into my old person ghetto, but at the same time I’m not going to clubs or surrounding myself with young friends that I try to talk to about the good old days and how ecstasy was stronger back then. I reckon Bowie is the latter and Alex James might end up as the former. The Young Gods are neither I suppose, they are old though, and they don’t wear nice suits like their industrial buddies Einsturende Neubauten who are of a similar age, they wear chokers and collar-less shirts like the bloke from Celtic Frost, so I guess they look kind of old-guy-trying-to-stay-rocking, but that can be forgiven. Dignity is a difficult line to tread when you play in a rock band in your forties.
I guess this record’s too dignified, as in AOR dignified, as in, “what-the-fuck-how-are-you-in-the-same-genre-as-Throbbing-Gristle” dignified, as in -and this is the kicker- as in, “oh shit this sounds like U2” dignified. I’m sorry, I wanted to like this, I thought this would have a badass sophistication and brutal midlife crisis trauma like the Grinderman album, I thought maybe it would teach me something about getting old and remaining venomous and hard, but this totally sounds like U2. You know the U2 video with the swirling desert that goes 3D and Bono’s there in his glasses? That’s the song this whole album sounds like. The guitars sound the same, the voice sounds the same, it’s exactly the same. Genesis P Orridge might not have any dignity but at least that’s cos he’s a man in his forties with fake boobs who fell out of a window, this record just makes me think about beanies. They must have just got carried away with the production, or maybe they have never even heard U2 (they’re Swiss, maybe they don’t have U2 in Switzerland). I thought this was going to be a dark record, but it’s really, really, boring.
Once I saw a ghost. I really did, in my friend’s house when I was fifteen, it’s this big house that was a hospital for soldiers in the first world war, and we definitely saw something, a sort of figure a few feet ahead of us, we were totally sober and it was definitely there. At the time we weren’t scared but when we got down the stairs we looked at each other and just freaked out, it was really weird. I told my girlfriend this whole story at 3am when we were staying at my mum’s house in darkest rural Hampshire and we’d just watched the Exorcist on my laptop in bed, we both got really scared and had to sleep with the lights on. No one has ever managed to put that horrible, creeping fear of the uncanny and the unknown onto record properly. That’s the kind of shit industrial bands should be striving for as they reach their autumn years. Come on.
The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn
This is rotten and boring. The twee emotional smugness of the liberal middle classes is why muggers love us, I seriously want to jack my own phone most days. Surely if you wanted real sad songs sung by girls you’d get Nina Simone or Ella Fitzgerald records, this is fake sadness, and there’s fucking rapping in French. This is music for pricks, I don’t care about it.
While I was listening to this my housemate came in my room to give me a copy of the first Sepultura album Morbid Visions, the jewel case clearly used to belong to a Cypress Hill cd cos it has a sticker with “Number One in the USA! ‘Insane In The Brain!’ ‘When The Ship Goes Down’ and the never before available ‘A to the K’ and ‘Hand On The Glock’” written on it. As an object it’s a little window into my housemate’s past. His dad brought up loads of his old things this weekend, including photos of him with long hair and old Body Count concert tickets. He’s from deepest, darkest Wales, he’s got a Moomins tattoo and he builts shit with his hands at work. He does not give a shit about music like this, he was raised on Sepultura, free parties and weed. Now he likes Andy Weatherall and real folk music. He is fucking real and he does not give a fuck. When I am being a faggot about something he calls me up on it. He would not stand for this nonsense for a second.