Friday, May 15, 2009

Jarvis Cocker's Rocker!

What happens when you put Jarvis Cocker, his band and Steve Albini in a studio in Chicago? Simple, you get Jarvis’s upcoming album, Further Complications, which will be released stateside on May 18th, and then you get rather, somewhat and possibly, hella delira and excira (as they say in Dublin, or Baile A Cliath if you’re a Gaelic speaker). Whereas some of Cocker’s work has been quite slick sounding while still carrying his British working class view of life quite successfully, this one is a much rawer affair, in fact Jarvis is pretty much rocking out on this one.

The first single from the record, “Angela” is a kick ass affair about a young lady who might work in the sex industry that rolls in on a rippling vein of fuzzed out guitar, slapped out drums and lyrics like “and she’s nearly 23, making four fifty an hour, complimentary shower, they call her Angela,” “I feel the sap rising tonitie,” and other un-parental musings. “Caucasian Blues” is a frantic rocker about being a typical white dude, who is “hung like a white man,” and has “no sense of rhythm.” .” The title track absofuckinglutely rules and it contains the line, “I need an addiction, I need an affliction to cultivate a personality.” Nuff said.

These two tunes set the tone for the entire record, and of course you get a couple of slower numbers in which Jarvis gets to stretch out and flex his proletarian ennui in a more deliberate and paced manner. “Hold Still” is the first of these and it contains the kicker line, “we’re cosmic dust, but you’re everything to me,” which could be perhaps tongue in cheek. Cocker goes on to say that he feels “Like a single parent at the fair,” and once again he’s taking us back to the silent desperation of working class Britain, a realm that he is truly familiar with.

“Leftovers” is another slower number, a love song with an opening line “I met her in the museum of paleontology, and I’ll make no bones about it,” it’s hard not to laugh out loud, except that he goes on to detail his love for this person who shares his fascination for dinosaurs, and he tells her he will “fall upon your neck just like a vampire, just like a vampire who faints at the sight of blood.” Anyway, it’s Jarvis so you’re gonna get staggering lyrics that’ll make you laugh, think and maybe even cry. “Pilchard” is a fast, mostly instrumental Krautrock inflected work out which will just divine for frugging around the kitchen to after you’ve a had a chip butty or two.

Proceedings close with the raw disco of “You’re In My Eyes (Discosong)” which opens with what sounds like a looping Philly disco sample, low in the mix with Jarvis talking over it about lurve. Barry White, god rest him, would be proud, likewise Gamble and Huff, and Stan and Hilda. There’s no point in trying to wax cleverer than Jarvis, this is a top album and that’s that.


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