Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Silences golden

Not everyone will have the inclination towards Apologies To The Enlightenment, the fourth album by Paul Hawkins & Thee Awkward Silences, and not just because it's 75 minutes long averaging nearly five and a half minutes per song. If you know sometime anti-folk hero Hawkins at all you'll know his voice is the one thing that everyone remarks on, a Marmite-worthy sometimes atonal rasp that here takes on positively demonic tones. Whereas previous releases have hinted at warped pub rock like Stiff might have once released (in fact, the first time we wrote about the band we envisaged them on the first Stiff tour), while there's definite hints in various songs of Ian Dury (Every Word I Say To You Today Will Be A Lie) and Madness (Seven Inches Tall) here they're mostly cast as a psychedelic nightmare of acidic guitars and unsourceable noises (The Beasts In The Upstairs Bedroom) or oddly melodic pop alchemists (I'm In Love With A Hospital Receptionist), all encircling Hawkins' ranting dark poetry, emotively angry and preacher-worthy committed to his own causes, alongside the odd lyrically derailed pop moment. Impressively eclectic and visionary, it's an album that doesn't so much grow on you as vice versa. The disturbingly bouncy Monkey Serum is downloadable from last.fm. Work, according to Hawkins, has already started on the follow-up, under the working title Fuckwit Bonanza. Before that, the small matter of a Christmas Number One Project.

This might be NSFW.

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