Sunday, December 05, 2010

Sweeping The Nation Albums Of 2010: Number 35

Paul Hawkins & Thee Awkward Silences are not for everybody. Yeah, spring that one on us all, with their extended story-songs - only four of the double album's fourteen songs come in at under five minutes - and sometime antifolk antihero Hawkins' atonal, clenched teeth psychotic rasp of a voice, one that starts by reciting the Lord's Prayer before launching into a splenetic seven minute rant among droning turning acidic guitars. Like much of the album it runs entirely on nervous tension, musically like death circus psych-pop or electrocuted pub rock (apart from/including the Blockheads steal), throwing in the odd surprise backing harmony or delicately unspooling, comparatively subdued baroque piece (The Yellow Castle On The Hill, the internal monologue of a man summoning his regrets while in a mental asylum) Throughout Hawkins exercises his unstoppable monologues drawn up from dark side poetics, bathetic emotive committedness and awkwardly surreal preaching to the perverted. You could compare them to the Fall but that wouldn't cover their maniac glee or the constant feeling of hanging on by fingertips to sense and sense of self-worth. Through self-examination of failure and post-Howard Beale ranting by way of psychiatric Grimm's Fairy Tales creed it finds its meter.


I've Had My Fun

The full list

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