Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Your Mother Is A Ballpoint Pen Thief

It's hard to believe that six years have passed since I first heard Mclusky Do Dallas, an album that I was sure would bring about a skuzzy revolution in indie rock. Mclusky were an explosive band, one that hated just about everyone and everything they came in contact with. A perfect match for producer Steve Albini. Mclusky even take jabs at Albini, throwing in lyrics from the Bush album that Albini produced in "Collagen Rock". No one was safe from singer Andy Falkous' sneer (on their next and last album, he takes aim at old band mates "our old singer was a sex criminal" is the chorus of one song.)

The album opens with the most ferocious song I've ever heard, ever, period. "Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues" ticks like a bomb with some fast high-hat action that Falkous rants hysterically, puncuated by moments of Jesus Lizard style thrash. The song builds and builds layer upon layer until Falkous screams "are you coming" over and over again. (Check out this pre-YouTube fan made video for "Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues")

Towards the middle of the album, they slow down with the semi-ballad, "Fuck This Band". Dismissing every type of musician they can think of, even themselves ("fuck this band, because they curse too much, it's an obvious ploy"). All this over a backdrop that wouldn't be out of place on a Helium record. It's a jarring experience in an album otherwise so badass. But it's one of their most effective songs, Falkous sings softly and maintains his disdain for the world.

When I listen to Mclusky, I'm reminded of the idea of John Lydon. On paper, Lydon or Rotten, whatever surname he chooses, is supposed to be the ultimate rock badass, right? Yet I can't stand his ass, he's an overrated hack, who's been coasting on his overrated band with their one overrated record. I'd like to take this opportunity to say that I can't stand the Sex Pistols. Nowhere near as good as even The Damned or The Buzzcocks, the Sex Pistols should have been an also-ran footnote in punk history. The Clash were a better band, The Ramones wrote better songs (and more of them), The Raincoats, The Slits, The X-Ray Spex, The Dead Boys, fucking Captain and Tenille, all better than The Sex Pistols.

At the time Mclusky Do Dallas was hailed in some circles (all small circles, no doubt) as a second coming of the Pixies. A claim that I never really bought, Mclusky were just too mean to ever be the Pixies, too ferocious, too concerned with destruction. The Pixies were a better band because of the sweetness they could attain, something Mclusky aren't concerned with. But for what they do, misanthropy, Mclusky are perfect. Mclusky Do Dallas is perfection, every song blasts by in under 3 minutes a piece and levels it's subjects. Jumping from dissing zombies, snakes in cumberbunds, and that old standby, your mother, Mclusky don't spare anyone.


Cangrejero said...

What is it about those goddamn sex pistols? Somebody needed to say it, thanks for being the one to do so. Oh and for fucks sake I can't stand Johnny Rotten. He's spent my entire lifetime mugging for every camera in sight so he can look into it and say how much he "hates the media" or some such childish drivel. What a tool.

Toothpaste Jones said...

The whole Sex Pistols thing is a masterpiece of media hakcery. Malcolm Mclaren put the band together like a revamp of the Monkees with junkies and morons replacing dimwitted hippies and teenyboppers. The Monkees had talent, though. The only reason anyone paid any attention to the Sex Pistols was because they cussed on tv. I'll always remember the first time I saw that clip of Johnny Rotten at their final show, asking the audience if they felt cheated. Yes. Everyone's been cheated. What a bunch of twerps.