Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Raincoats - The Raincoats

This album is just a fairytale in the supermarket. This album must be imaginary, it's still a singularity that reality hasn't quite figured out how to deal with.

There's obviously a lot of neo-Marxist/Feminist themes running through here, which is refreshing, but it's really all about the praxis. Say what you will about how “musically skilled” these musicians are, they make some really compelling music. Really, each one of these songs is brilliant. If you dare deny that, I would say you're listening to music with all the wrong organs!

And it's so ramshackle. There's none of that bullshit equilibrium you get so much of in other music. Whereas in some songs every instrument is perfectly in time with the others, and so creates the illusion of a fixed point moving in time, the fixed point here is entirely virtual. It is a strange attractor that all the voices struggle to reach or struggle to slow down towards. As such, all the instruments are always clamoring for that supreme unity but never attaining it. No one member of the band defines it, because there is a fierce egalitarianism in operation. Now isn't that a much better metaphor for life than all the other music you've been taught to appreciate because of its simulated perfection?

Did I mention they do a cover of “Lola”? Yeah, it's great.

About the music itself, this is “post-punk.” Post-punk is just the logical progression of punk, in that it assumes the same goal of deconstructing music but takes it one step further (the step into “The Void”). This particular album sounds like a mix between The Shaggs and The Ramones, if you don't mind me referring to one artist more obscure and one more popular to provide a popular definition. You have everything you could want: brass, strings, bass, drums, guitar, and girls, girls, girls! Really, this is an album for everyone, especially people who love/hate music.


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