Saturday, December 02, 2006

Sweeping The Nation Albums Of 2006: Number 30

Using a coffee cup stain as a template

A tip: if you've not heard Give Me A Wall but seen ¡Forward, Russia! live and fallen on that basis for the way everything seems to be going on at once before falling back perfectly into place amid Tom Woodhead's all action, mike cord auto-asphyxiation routine, it might sound a little disappointing upon purchase. It's not that the album fails to capture their live sound, more nothing housed on master tape could hope to. It has a decent stab at it, though.

Essentially the ¡Forward, Russia! equation is At The Drive-In's sheer velocity plus the Dischord tricksiness of the time signatures and Whiskas' pinpoint riffage plus the motorik, Bloc Party end of the post-punk revival, with an element of synths to garnish. There are properly published lyrics, arguably in much the same way as Napalm Death have lyrics, in that they have meaning but are in an indecipherable shape without external help. Except, perusing said lyrics, Nine is seemingly about Dr Robert Oppenheimer's regret on inventing the atomic bomb while Fifteen Pt II would seem to issue regretfulness about hurting the one you love, or whatever stock should be placed in the line "a shattered ghoul, you'll hurl the mountain/Across the edge of fratricide". This is clearly the work of people who've thought long and hard about what goes between the jagged edges of their work, especially as amid the intensity there's room for the blurry subtleties of Nineteen and the calmer passages of Sixteen. Post-graduate post-punk, then, if boxed in on record only by necessity.

LISTEN ON: Fifteen Pt II
WATCH ON: Eighteen live in Manchester; Twelve mixed with the Sesame Street pinball animation
READ ON: Listen, actually, to Steve Lamacq's Radio 1 documentary about their rise

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