Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's Grand But Not Douchey.

Black Francis, Frank Black or Charles Michael Kitteridge Thompson IV, and his missus , Violet Clark, or Violet Clark Thompson, have just done a new LP. The collabo is called Grand Duchy, and that doesn’t sound kinda like douchey, nor does the album itself. In fact, it’s a rather subtle likkle surprise if the truth be known, and the truth should always be known, should it not? What do you get when you take classic Pixies inclinations and fuse them with just a smidgen of synth pop and new wavey gorgeousfulness, and then have yer old lady channel a bit of Kim Deal while remaining thoroughly individual and vocally involving?

You don’t know! Jeepers! You get Grand Duchy for cryin’ out loud. The album is called Petits Fours and it’s on the Cookin' Vinyl label. The first single, “Lovesick,”sounds like the Pixies colliding with “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” then it doesn’t, and it forces you to wrap your flakey head around some bloody chewy lyrics and the cutely menacing (how that?) vocal delivery of the not so shrinking Violet. The chuckly bit with him asking “What are you wearing?” and Violet girlishly answering “I Don’t Know” is so bloody addictive and funny that it just sets the tune out as a stone hard classic. The stonesy guitar riff is bloody excellent too!

Plus we need more rock albums with synthy bits and women shpeakin in shexy French accentsh (Or Sean Connery accentsh even). Check the song “Fort Wayne” for that: top tune, great lyrics, completely fun and hooky, hooky hooky. Do I really need to dissect every track, ‘cos I hate to, but let’s just say “Black Suit” rules on high, from the dense drums and bass intro (nice bassline) to the overall spooky but energetic feel of it. Black Francis channels some weird, grating anger and it’s ever so welcome.

Am I blowing too much smoke up this album's ass, or maybe I’m just blowing too much smoke, or just blowing too much. Take it to the gutter, sher why not as they say in the old country. Francis you do look divine btw. And I forgot about “Seeing Stars,” a special, little slow number that comes over all coy and folksy/rocky before the bass slinks down and the pair ‘o’ them throw in some glacial synth work while Violet intones “I’m guess I’m seeing stars again,” in a way that you want to hear over and over, except that they only do it for a short while and you want it to never end and you'll remember it and cherish it forever and a day. Yer knowurramean?

This album is fucking great, just go and get it and stop reading this shite. All right?


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