The Smiths – Handsome Devil
Yes Yes Yes!
Yes Yes Yes!
From one Australian band last week to another Australian band this week: The Triffids. The Triffids, as with Art of Fighting, didn’t quite get the recognition they deserved when they were playing and recording. They were maybe even in danger of becoming forgotten until Domino Records, in 2006, remastered and rereleased their albums to much deserved fanfare and acclaim. This is ‘Life of Crime’ off their 1986 album Born Sandy Devotional *presses play*.
Art of fighting are one of those bands who – like I wrote of Chris Mills – never got the recognition I felt they deserved. They released three fantastic albums through the early to mid 2000s: Wires (2001), Second Story (2004) and Runaways (2007). And it’s a testament to the quality of these records, how the albums operate as a whole, that I found it very difficult to choose one song to separate out. But I feel ‘Eastbound’ and the album it’s from, Runaways, can stand this separation and the subsequent reintegration without harming either.
On Friday night I watched the film Jimi: All Is By My Side. I had heard it got some bad reviews.
And as ‘Highway to Hell’ played I turned to my friend and said, that even if someone wasn’t too fussed about music, didn’t care to know too much about it, you couldn’t help but hear this and think this is a great song. Simplicity at its best.
If I want to give myself an underhand compliment this week I’d say my knowledge of music can make me quite lazy when it comes to writing about it. Instantly I reached for easy comparisons when I started listening to ‘Never Enough’: New Order in that opening beat, and early Madonna in those vocals – this at the expense of pushing myself to say something decent. But what I found, and one of the elements I really like about this song is that, as if aware of my laziness, it keeps shifting, so as soon as my comparisons settle they are trod around and about by the dancing everyone is doing.
Having lived with and listened to Nirvana’s live acoustic version of the Meat Puppets’ ‘Lake of Fire’ for so long, on finally hearing the original I’m struck by how much Kurt Cobain’s singing followed Curt Kirkwood’s phrasing and delivery. Listening to the Meat Puppets’ original I find my thoughts and ears slipping back and towards the voice and image of Kurt singing it (my experience of Nirvana’s version is as much visual as auditory, watching it on MTV as I did many times before the release of the record) some ten years later.