I’ve been a bit busy of late, visiting malingering, err... sorry, ill father up North, rediscovering the beauties of the Cumbrian demotic ( that plural version of you, for example “Yous” as in “ are yous going to the bingo?”) and entering a short story competition by writing a completely new short story instead of just dusting off some old stuff. How noble of me! There’s a five grand first prize and having just received the first half of my winter gas bill I can only pray to god I win it. Come on Zadie, sort it out and I promise to spend the money on the seven-hundred remaindered copies of “Utterly Monkey” in Meridian Books.
But that’s more than enough biographic tittle-tattle, Mr Impostume, you boring cunt. Give us some of your searing insights into the Netherworld of unpopular culture. To wit: What are your albums of the year?
Should I just do a list, or.. oh, alright let's have some waffle, if you insist......
Every fucker else's album of the year, you say? Then certainly enough has been said about TGTBATQ’s charcoal and woodcut Clashkinksian afrodubpop. Except! that it is charcoal and woodcut Clashkinksian afrodubpop and that it managed to beguile for the best part of an entire year where other more immediatley arresting treats ( see: Von Sudenfed) quite rapidly evaporated.
I can’t emphasise enough how fantastic I thought “Mourner” was, or the injustice of its being almost totally overlooked. A brilliantly organic synthesis of extreme noise, death metal, post rock and dubbed out folk it felt like the natural heir to and a considerable extension on something like Bark Psychosis’s “Hex”, an alternately raging and drifting, meditative missive from the shadowlands of the national psyche. Shot through with a diffuse lyricism and palpable yearning for something more than this, it was an epic act of reclamation. Where so many attempts at these kinds of surprising hybridisations feel contrived (“ it’s kind of Napalm Death mixed with Rai, but done on a laptop”) “Mourner” felt utterly, uniquely right, the expression of a new sensibility in which a series of disparate elements have finally alchemically acceded to a higher form, all Neo-pagan hokeyness avoided.
I wonder if Caina isn’t a kind of Burial for metal heads. Personally I keep thinking (bear with me) of the Smiths, and not simply because of the confluence of Caina's plaintive " break yourself on rocks" with Morrissey's " and the rocks below say hurl your skinny body down son." Perhaps because, like Morrissey, Caina's muses are all ultra-white. But at least he's doing something interesting with them though, eh?