Mclusky - Do Dallas
I heard my first Mclusky song courtesy of http://www.rathergood.com/lightsabre/ and I know I'm certainly not alone in that. Since my mate had banged on about them constantly I decided I really should go and buy the album. First listen, barring opening track, ‘Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues’, left me underwhelmed. A second listen made me realise this was one of the most enjoyable albums I’d heard in a long time. I guess some albums take you that way.
Recorded by the legendary Steve Albini (recorder of Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’ and member of Shellac), it has a distinctive and incredible sound, with a flow that is fantastic. We go from the screaming loud-empty rock of ‘Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues’ into ‘No New Wave No Fun’, based over a driving fuzzed up bass line. There is no appreciable gap to gather your senses between the two.
This calms down a little with the next four tracks, all variations on the themes of fuzzed up bass, quirky stop-start rhythms, and screaming angry vocals, spouting humour-filled lyrical nuggets of truth about sell-outs, those who scavenge over the lives of the famous, and people who’ve really annoyed the band.
The album's only 'slow' track is the delightfully named ‘F*ck This Band’ – a sly, winking attack on those who think that Mclusky have swearing in their music just because they think it’s cool and not because they just happen to swear. Lyrics this clever are actually quite hard to come by nowadays, even in the best bands. [Edit - 2005: Obviously this track has a certain 'edge' since the split in January.]
This small slow down is followed by 'To hell With Good Intentions', a fantastic driving song with a stabbing fuzzy bass riff and the memorable line "My love is bigger than your love, we take more drugs than a touring funk band. Sing it". There is another batch of angular, loud, clever little catchy hardcore before the CD finishes with the brilliant ‘Whoyouknow’, a straight rock’n’roll track with some edgy touches, including a couple of seconds of tremolo-tinged guitar. Oh and the obligatory 'hidden' track 'Reviewing the Reviewers'.
If you like your guitars loud and different I can’t recommend Mclusky highly enough. They have all the energy and musical ideas you will ever need for a band, combined with the sort of intelligence in their lyrics you’d expect from a modern pop novelist.