|Arab Strap: Fukd ID #2 ~ Digital Download Ref: CHEM048 DD|
NME - 18th November, 2000
Limited to 1,000 copies, alas, this drop-dead beauty transcends the Strap's occassional tendency towards grumbling, stumbling self-parody and carves out something truly splendid instead. Aidan's monologue is set to a skipping house beat and a flurry of strings, gradually amassing a genuine sense of menace and novelistic dread. The air of drunken, confessional humiliation is spiced with more creeping nastiness than usual, with hints of terrible events ocurring just out of earshot: "We're grown men, we should be responsible/But the fuck with that, let's make a spectacle."
With flashes of Tindersticks and early New Order, this is the hard stuff alright.
Drowned In Sound
The second in the Chemikal Underground Fukd Id series, and the only to come from an established act. Limited to 1000 for the sake of purism, meaning only the truly dedicated can get there hands on the bugger. Chances are if your looking now you will not find one. Which is a pity as it is Arab Straps best release yet, despite it comprising of just 2 tracks.
The lead track includes of little more than a drum beat, a drunk Scotsman and relatively quiet guitar riff to create the Straps own concoction of post-rock-dance. The dance element is more prominent than ever, not that you could actually dance to it of course, as the beats reach a trance-like climax towards the end of the song. This is not the usual post-rock droning crescendo of noise but an actual Paul Van Dyke style Trance climax. Seems the Lanarkshire drug enforcers have some work to do. Fears of Aidan running out of situations to slur about are solved, as he is just mumbling more incoherently than usual, so much that I have no idea what either of the songs are about, despite repetitive listening. Not that it matters, I will hazard a guess that they have something to do with sex.
The B-side is very confusing. It was previewed this year at All Tomorrows Parties and sounded pretty good. Now recorded its the best song of the year and the bands career thus far. Firmly back into the realms of pissed up guitar abuse, there is no glimpse of euphoric build ups here. Instead it highlights the emotional anguish music can purvey, making a joke of all angsty metal in the process. They stick to the usual style of very few notes, lots of bass and create the bleakest, most fucked up, wrist slitting and oh yes LOUD rawk that Mr Reznor will never ever have the ability to create. Its shows such high level of restrain, control and precision to create a level of intensity beyond anything that even, godlike chums, mogwai have reached.
Those that predicted they had passed their best by Elephant Shoe are wrong. Back with Chemikal Underground the next album should lead them to the dizzying heights of post-rock festival curation.