Monday, May 6, 2013

Holy fuck...

Shock me awake, tear me apart
Pinned like a note inside a hospital gown
The deeper I sleep, the further down
The rabbit hole never to be found
It's only falling in love because you hit the ground



  1. his sense of dramatic song dynamics is so good sometimes...

  2. The new album is out there and it is incredible. It's like Black Sabbath fronted by David Bowie decided to re-record Beck's Seachange as a 70's concept album in the style of ZZ Top. That's the only way I can think of describing it. Between this and the National record - I don't know which way to look...

  3. damn, you're exacty right. It's the most striking thing I've heard in rock in a while.

  4. I think Homme is singlehandedly keeping Rock interesting.

  5. The Bowie angle – yes, a certain glam vocal inflection. All the critics and me will say ‘Like Bowie’ as though that’s a deliberate choice and stylistic reference. I’m sure that quality was an after-effect – not the direct causal motive for JH to sing this way, in the style of a safe/past music one knows/loves best... and all that speculation. A critic’s observation never proves cause and effect. No one sets out to write a “Bowie song”, and then sing it totally in his style; at least if he’s a songwriter worthy of the title. Anyway. By way of a long preamble to say: Like Clockwork is additionally satisfying (as a rock album) in a way The Next Day isn’t. Clockwork is more emotional, real and depth-charged than my initial listening of the Bowie. I mean, Bowie doesn’t have to prove anything any more, he can make albums just for the heck of it, because and when he feels like it; he doesn’t have to explore and innovate and push genres through the medium of songwriting and studio spaces. When he uses a lot of guitars on an album, it’s a rock album; but it just doesn’t feel like rock. The feel of Clockwork is a lot more solid, totally guitar rock and yet spacious and piano-esque and coloured with a rich span of distortion tones. And I wonder if Bowie fans might also be more satisfied with Clockwork too... I think it’s a ready, minor masterpiece already. And a last Bowie-esque point: there’s even a trim of pop melodicism at work here.

    As well as the down-tuned guitars (QOTSA hallmark), punchy and stoner rock-oriented rhythms. Some nicely sleazy rhythms. [A definition of sleaze: sexy ugliness.] Mixed with a convalescent sense of heart and honesty.

    Allmusic’s review is spot on – focusing on the maturation of JH as writer. I think there’s still enough of the cynicism of the old QOTSA in it, that attitude; but the emotional vibe is deeper.

    And I Appear Missing is just one of his best songs yet, near-death experience or no. It’s fucking good. It feels like the apotheosis of something, the contextual core of the album. The longer album version is just awesome with the vocal coda. I haven’t heard a rock song with such power in a long time; I can’t remember many rock songs feeling so emotionally real either. The lyrics: ‘Except for the heart-shaped hole where the hope runs out’ – ‘As I go down the drain, I appear missing now’ – and that uncanny marriage of out-of-body alienation and near-death shock, with the ‘never loved anything’ chaser at the end. The feel of it is so strong. Definitely not a song to play repetitively as you drive back and forth to a loved one in hospital.

    The rhythm section is gentler on the album, less aggressively masculine. A rounder sound. Less pounding. Still very much a Homme production.

    A friendly, more concise and artier cousin of the TCVultures, with more depth.

    In a JH interview he made a comment to John Paul Jones along the lines of ‘we make good music together’ (as TCVultures), and that got me thinking. JH is heir to all the things (rather, the only things) I like about Jimmy Page as a guitarist: an awesome riffmaker, rhythm player and arranger — not the wanky diddly diddly solos on end. That meaty guitar heaviness, that rich choice of guitar tone, the interesting way of making notes & chords sound new (& every song mixed/toned differently). It’s also true , inevitable then, that John Paul Jones would make good music with a guitarist like JH. Add a drummer like Grohl, and you’ve got rock with enough space and controlled finesse to let oblique heart & soul in.
    I actually checked out JBHiFi store locations and opening times to go get me a copy. This is a must-have on disc.