We don't always agree. We don't often agree might be closer to it. Occasionally, in the course of putting our Week in Music page of record reviews together, two conflicting opinions emerge and this seems to me to be of the essence of being a music fan, opining on our faves; subjectively stressing our objectivity; going down the pub and verbally duking it out.
This new every now and then series, Conflict Resolution, will feature both opinions at once, juxtaposed. We're doing cartwheels and offering double take, we're taking you with us on this, we hope.
St. Paul and the Broken Bones
City Federal Building
Dark opening, images of dystrophy, discordant vocals, juxtaposed harmony and discord, perhaps, optimism in the harmony maybe? The vocals strangely beguiling at times almost falsetto over crashing feedback echo? A portent of even darker, desperate, mysterious, confusing times to come? This is a song from another time, when uncertainty was just reduced optimism, but now uncertainty is fear and paranoia, haunting more and more of our self-isolating lives. Love the vocals, and steady back beat, echoes of distant hopes, but realising deep fears.
I live in an age dominated by visual media and I suppose over time I have become more and more superficial, to the point of abstraction, maybe. One look at the photo St. Paul and the Broken Bones sent accompanying their press release, and I had to forward to several people to canvass opinion because well, as a cautionary tale, it bothered me and I wouldn't want my band to look like that... Meanwhile what does Call Me sound like? Imagine if the Black Pumas or Brittany Howard were mediocre, everything dialed down to 5 instead of up to 11? Still listening. Not so much. Play by numbers soul. I'd asked Adrian the Ancient Champion drummer about the picture, whether it would make him more or less likely to press the play button on St. Paul's music. "I would certainly press the ‘off’ button," Adrian said, "Unless there was a ‘fuck off’ button."
Ousideleft Week in Music every friday....