June 02, 2005

The Karelia

"Gasp! Who's that familiar looking chap who looks like the chap from Franz Ferdinand" I hear you cry, for I have sensitive ears.

Why it's Alex Kapranos in his old band the Karelia of course (some may remember this getting a bit of press a while back – apologies).

Yes in fact he pioneered his black shirt and orange tie combo back in 1997 with an obscure improvisational jazz-rock outfit who released one album and promptly disappeared…

Well I was going through the mp3 on my laptop and I discovered their album which I downloaded at some point last year and promptly forgot about. It was on the internet somewhere – I bid you to go and search. It's called Divorce at High Noon.

Musically patchy in places, it nevertheless has a number of tracks that make it well worth a listen, even if only as curiosities, though it's possible to see why it bombed – 1997 was the era of the Verve, OK Computer and Oasis failing to live up to expectation, not neo-jazz-rock-funk. Witty and erodite lyrics abound. In particular hunt down 'To His Coy Dietress' – nice Andrew Marvell reference – a song encouraging an obese lady to gorge herself on his "raspberry nipples" and asking "Could you encircle me/with lips that quiver and drip for me?" Fusing gluttony and sexual promiscuity with devastating effect, it's a triumph, whilst life in a Barret Garret is a stifled suburban tale of net curtains diffusing pink sunrises.

The concluding track, Garravughty Butes is a 10 minute epic improvised rock / jazz tour de force, over which Alex seems to freestyle whatever words come into his head, changing from a high pitched squeak to a confident growl as he repeats the word 'stupid', and asking whether the moon has gravity and finally concluding that the spacemen on the moon use Gravity Boots (at this point he shouts Garravughty Butes repeatedly as the song collapses in a psychedelic jazz haze, only to get going again with some random organ). Love's a Cliche was apparently a single, and it's delivered with an effortless swoon few vocalists (Morrissey?) can muster.

Quite simply, I've never heard an album like it. As a point of contrast, it also shows the extent to which Franz Ferdinand are a very cleverly controlled application of Alex Kapranos's talent, providing evidence that success involves fusing your strengths with a winning formula.

- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. He's a Greek Scot! Follower of the Rembetiko actually I forgot to mention that in my post. It was key information!

    02 Jun 2005, 09:52

Add a comment

You are not allowed to comment on this entry as it has restricted commenting permissions.

June 2005

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
May |  Today  | Jul
      1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30         

Search this blog


Most recent comments

  • i dnt kno wat u ppl r talkin bout ma username is based on how i feel. right now it is Im gonna smile… by Marcus on this entry
  • this is crap i want to be able to find m.s.n addies but there is no web sitie that i can find them o… by amy on this entry
  • I put them somewhere safe but can't remember where. by on this entry
  • As tempting as 8am is, I'm doing a stint at one of the rival stations on Friday so can't make it in.… by on this entry
  • No kidding, I did actually have a dream last night that you went without asking me… Only reading t… by on this entry

Blog archive

Not signed in
Sign in

Powered by BlogBuilder