Friday, 17 April 2009

The Week Never Starts Round Here

I have learned not to trust weathermen, or in the case of GMTV, weathergirls (why is it weathergirls and weather men and not weather boys?) The weather girl this morning, not the delightful Claire Nazir I might add, but some Scots woman drafted in to cover her holiday/sick/maternity leave, delete as applicable. Anyway, Scots weathergirl said it would be fine, it wasn’t fine, it was grim, it was very grim, and it was made all the more grimmer by Arab Strap, for they provided the soundtrack and that soundtrack was The Week Never Starts Round Here.
Arab Strap, certainly on this album are the musical equivalent of The Dementors from Harry Potter, sucking every bit of life, joy and optimism out my commute, I entered a fog of despair in Stafford and didn’t come out of the other side until I was minutes away from Coleshill.
Arab Strap I daresay have never had a review where somewhere it doesn't say dour. I don’t even know what dour means, but I bet they are it.
That all said, some Arab Strap songs feature amongst my favourites, namely The Love Detective, Hey Fever and The First Big Weekend, and it was the latter that influenced me into buying this album, and even that doesn’t lift it from the depths of overriding ennui. You see, on songs like The First Big Weekend, where the vocal is effectively a monologue, you have to listen, but as the vocals on the album are so low in the mix, you are craning to hear, it’s the same for all of the album, you really can’t hear things too well, which on a song that’s chorus driven, it really doesn’t matter, after all you don’t really need to have “Hey Mickey, you’re so fine, you’re so fine, you blow my mind” really loud over the instruments, as it is repeated, you get the gist of it, well you may need to hear it better if you are an acquaintance of Toni Basil, you are named Michael, you are wondering if you are fine, and what Toni Basils mind does in your presence, then, and only then perhaps you might need the instrumentation turned down a notch. This isn’t Toni Basil though, this is Aiden Moffatt, telling a story, mumbled at best, over instruments, I still do not know what they did on their first big weekend.
So, I quite like one track on a dreadful dreadful album, how does that equate in my scoring system, 1 out of 13

The First Big Weekend by Arab Strap

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