Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mcluskey do Dallas is ten years old

Enough already with the maudlin shit. Last week at Record Store Day, I bought a copy of Mclusky Do Dallas (orange vinyl - so pretty) and it still sounds as vital and incredible as it did ten years ago. It is strange think that it is ten years old but at the time it was a sledge hammer revelation to me.

How so? Well, cast your mind to those heady days and we were having one of those "rock is dead," "no wait, it lives" moments. The saviours of rock in 2002 were the Strokes, the White Stripes, the Vines and Jet. It's always funny to me that saviours of rock n' roll always sound like retro rock and even though the Vines had those two singles that sounded like Nirvana, nothing by any of these bands sounded forward thinking or original as good as the White Stripes were (fun fact: I saw the Strokes support You Am I before they blew up - they were bad). On the flipside of the mainstream rock saviours you had Queens crushing it on the back of R and about to release Songs for the Deaf and Mclusky. Mclusky never got big but they should of but it's probably because their music doesn't aim to please or give a fuck about anything apart from being awesome.

For proof of that, the first single and song on the record is Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues which is essentially 1:51 punch to the face. It is a relentlessly abrasive, funny and fist pumping singalong. It then rolls in to No New Wave No Fun and Collagen Rock, all distorted bass and stringy guitars with screaming, profanity laden lyrics.  If all those other bands were mining the 60-70's to save rock n' roll, the most obvious touchstone for Mclusky was the Pixies but they weren't playing homage, they were setting fire to the sound they loved.

I remember reading at the time they were pissed off with all the Pixies comparisons but when you have that sound, that scream and Albini producing, they could hardly have been surprised.  Mclusky's not so secret weapon was that the music was serious, the delivery was impassioned but the lyrics didn't take any prisoners, was archly funny and at times, mean spirited. I think they knew they'd never make it on to the top 20 with songs such as Gareth Brown Says which starts:

All of your friends are cunts  
Your mother is a ball point pen thief 
Notoriety follows you  
Like beatings follow rain

Fame was never the intention. Mclusky operated outside the motives of the mainstream, they just produced vital music like a maniac jumping from a plane without a parachute or pants. The band imploded after their next album and the division is spiteful (watch this great video to see more). But Mclusky do Dallas is a glorious testament to a volatile rock band at their prime. To Hell with Good Intentions is a stone cold classic to this day (watch the band's glee at playing some cheesy pop show above) and while there are a couple of lesser tracks, this is a remarkably strong record with no filler. Of course, the glorious Future of the Left grew out of Mclusky and they are still producing fucking great records that peddle similar sounds but they're their own thing. Embrace Mclusky, we were lucky to have them for as long as we did.


No comments:

Post a Comment