Thursday, May 03, 2012

2012 - 26

The Frog Eclectic

S'funny; sometimes you look forward to something so much it ultimately lets you down a little or after a while it just isn't as good as you thought or expected and, of course, sometimes it's just a vast anticlimax or just not very good.

I am talking albums here and there have been many that arrive get played to death and then don't find their way to a player again for, oh, years. And some just are so indelible that you know you are listening to something that you will be listening to in 30 years (or in my case, probably less than 30).

Less than two weeks ago I heard there was a new North Atlantic Oscillation album coming out and I really thought Grappling Hooks, their first album was something pretty wonderful - not perfect, but as debut albums go, it was pretty fucking marvellous. Roger liked it, but wasn't totally overwhelmed. We both sat and drank a beer in Wolverhampton with the band playing 100 feet away and we were oblivious. I hope I don't live to regret that.

The Fog Electric landed yesterday. I played it for the first time at about 6.30 and again straight away. I'd heard two new tracks on You Tube on Monday (and posted links to them up on FB) and suddenly felt that frisson I used to get when a Talk Talk, House of Love, Verve or even Floyd album was released. This new NAO stuff sounds exceptionally good.

This album might possibly be my first recommendation for best album of the century. It is just quite simply remarkable. It sounds like the Beach Boys versus Phil Spector meets the Flaming Lips mixed by Bob Mould and Terry Bickers and then given to Steven Wilson to fuck about with before channelling Sigur Ros, Radiohead, Verve and Mercury Rev. It's 60s, 70s, 80s all rolled into a 21st century package with a really unusual prog/post rock feel. I just can't get over how good it is.

I picked track 4 out as the weakest, but even that lulls you into a false sense of security and veers off into some bonkers brilliance - everything else is beautiful. The stand out tracks are the Beach Boys inspired Chirality; the dreamy brilliance of Mirador and the atmospheric shoe-gazy orgasm that is Savage With Barometer (Expert with Altimeter is also a carbon copy of a canine's testicle, too); but all the tracks just ooze texture and depth. It even has a track that starts off sounding like Noggin the bleeding Nog! I also think it's a concept album.

Kscope are the best indie label going and I have to see this band live. Parts of this album make me want to weep with joy, it's that fucking good!

Bring me the Head of Jesus Christ so I can Poke his Eyes Out with a Stick

My life has been dominated by work recently and sadly not in a good way. I'm currently looking for another job because I no longer believe that I have the support of my management team. I'm just a little too nice for their needs, it seems.

Without putting too fine a point on it, I've not turned out to be the cross between the Terminator and Scrooge that they hoped I would be; instead I'm a cross between Tom Good and the Green Cross Code Man and while I think it's working; my superiors want me to dispense with the velvet glove and don the iron fist. Hence, my searching for a new job.

Success can be achieved in many ways, but these ways are only obvious to the people doing the job and not the arseholes that observe snapshots of a day. At times this week I have felt as though I've been herded towards telling my employer to shove their job up their arses and frankly because of the economic climate that isn't something I'm contemplating too readily; unless, of course, something comes along to release me from this hell I've found myself in...

Still, it's a long weekend (albeit cold and unseasonal) and I intend to eat, drink and probably get as stoned as I can on a limited budget. This might involve freebasing Ventolin; snorting aspirin and mainlining a couple of bottles of red wine and if it is that combination I'll be hangover free and able to breathe more easily...

  • I have been listening to North Atlantic Oscillation and only North Atlantic Oscillation, because it is a truly wondrous piece of artistry. It's called Fog Electric, don't forget.
  • I have been reading Wind Through the Keyhole and hating myself for liking it.
  • I have been borderline depressed; I can feel that bi-polar essence creeping into my psyche and fucking me over.
  • I'm not sleeping well.
  • I have discovered that I can become vehemently ambivalent.
  • This is what passes as silence.

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