Saturday, February 25, 2006

Scotland Is This Week's Japan

Arab Strap
Monday At The Hug And Pint
2003, Chemikal Underground/Matador

So, thanks to my good friend Paul B., i discovered another gem of an album, another band to look for discographies and such; yeah, you know how it is when something grabs you by the first listen and WHAM!!! you are in the floor crying to all, but wait...why am i crying about here? it's not from the pure physical crazed agonizing pain of crippling proportions gotten from pushing play on my Winamp too hard, oh no sir-e, it might be because of an unhealed wound, one i knew i had once before but totally forgot about, thought it had healed and all, like most wounds do...well, almost all wounds, you know which ones stay there for a big while and hurt like pulling your pubic hair, not to get too emo here, but yeah, emotional wounds are what the subject might be called for, you know how it is: things happen, you feel like crap...things get worse and you feel...well...worse, sometimes it's like if you are getting dismembered yet you keep your fingers and toes and senses, still, you get to die a little. So we've all been there, how it is to feel like that, but then time comes and time heals it's pressumed by the common knowledge and you go around, living your life like it's none of your business only to find the truth and nothing but the truth in some cases and by certain circumstances: TIME HEALS NOTHING!!!, yeah, time may pass and the pain might disappear but sometimes it takes almost nothing to collapse, choke and spazz; BAM welcome to miseryville. Miss Misery as you said, you don't see it coming, you don't see the waiter come and salt your dish, your main course: The Wound, and it takes just a little wind or a couple of songs to get there. Wounds might be cathartic, but they can also open us to new amazing songs, even if they give us no clue as to what's wrong with us

So the subject here is Arab Strap, band from Scotland, also the homecountry of Belle & Sebastian and Mogwai who in various points in time and depending on where and why you are listening, rule. The headline comes from me listening to a lot of Mogwai lately (it helps they are coming to Mexico soon) and me being a recent B&S convert, so instead of finding the next Boredoms side project to worship, i've been revealing in the sounds of the land of the Loch Ness monster. Arab consists of two guys: Aidan Moffett (who sings and writes what he sings) and Malcolm Middleton (he of the music), and like many good duos, they create a hell of a soundtrack with so few people involved. They have been around since 1995, the have a newish album called The Last Romance and have been either called the best band ever or completely ignored by the world. I pity those fools.

The album is lush with instrumentation and drum machines that sparkle the moods of loneliness, emotional distress and longing for that sweet taste of poisonous love...that said, the music is hardly sappy, it all goes from either subtle and somber in it's stark presentation to full blown chaotic and frenetic, yet keeping a calm underneat that really tells how it's not ok to feel so much and play that loud but have this ground which is stable, it's wrong to be here and it's wrong that it's now but that's the way it is and that's the feeling you get from hearing the 808 collapsing with the bowed string instruments while the feedback still rings throughtout the sorrow, the wetness of the tears just picked up by the edge of your index finger and that desire to have THAT person come and tell you: "Everything is going to be ok", while you still sit and stay and expect a ghost to waltz you thru the last dance on the ballroom; but instead, you reach into your pocket to call somebody, could be your friends, your mom or the suicide hotline and just talk, and listen to your voice complain back to you. The Wound should feel like a cello in a somber room

Fucking Little Bastards.mp3
Who Named The Days.mp3
Act of War.mp3

Arab Strap website:
Matador Records:
Buy Monday At The Hug And Pint at Amazon