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July 26, 2006

McLusky

Writing about web page http://www.toopure.com/mclusky/

As strange as it may seem, McLusky were failures. Looking at what they did and how they did it, it seems quite clear that they wanted to be super abrasive, to trash the eardrums of all those unfortunates who had the audactity to cross their path.

They picked as producer Steve Albini, the man who seemingly believed the best way to produce a band was the set angry wasps on them then record the resulting noise in a bucket using the crappiest taperecorder he could find in the local charity shop… then rubbing the resulting tape with sandpaper.

They sang radio friendly lyrics like:

If you can cope in this hopeless hepatitis pissrag/Molotov cocktail monobrow shithole baby
Fuck this band/Cos they swear too much/It's an obvious ploy/And irresponsible

And yet… and yet they had a shameful flaw. It's not hard to be borderline unlistenable yet they couldn't do it. Every morning it would appear McLusky woke up in bed with Mr Tune. We cannot be sure if this was a cause of shame, the terrible hangover kicking in as they realised there were classy and (yes) affecting melodies at work in their songs. Maybe they liked it, the dirty buggers. They certainly got more tuneful as anyone listening to their chronological best of McLuskyism can hear.

So who should listen to them? Everyone?

Maybe. For a start there's a clue in the lyrics quoted above – they were clever. Very clever, and produced some of the best lyrics of the last ten years, crude, rude, funny and sharp. It's hard not to emit to a small titter (or in my case great huge laugh out loud) on hearing the lyric to 'Random Celebrity Insult Generator' which promises much mayhem but settles purely for informing us, repeatedly, that "Nick Berry had talent in a previous life". The desire to channel pure insults into song form is McLusky's ace. The shockingly melodic 'She Will Only Bring You Happiness' has a beautiful middle eight with some nice vocal harmonies (or as close as you get with McLusky) which sooth you right up to the point you realise that they're actually singing "Our old singer is a sex criminal".

Where's best to start? Probably the aforementioned Best Of, Mcluskyism which gives a helpful overview as to what you might hear. The early stuff can probably strip paint off walls (although the paint round here could be stripped off by Sigur Ros it's that badly done) but their second and third albums, McLusky Do Dallas and The Difference Between Me And You Is That I'm Not On Fire are great and should at least be listened to even if they too do bad things to your house's paintwork.

The antidote to emo? Maybe. If we must have long song titles then McLusky are showing the way forward, less annoying pretentiousness, more songs called 'Dave, Stop Killing Prostitutes' and 'Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues'. And it is them showing the way forward but no longer leading. Sadly they split up last year leaving us bereft of McLusky but in possession of spin off bands Shooting At Unarmed Men and Future Of The Left who may yet prove that trying to hurt ears + being frisked by the Tune + great use of words = the way forward.

Fuck this band/Yeah fuck their holes/But if they split up/You're responsible

Oh yes…

Tracks are for sampling purposes only and will be deleted two weeks after this entry.

McLusky – 'The World Loves Us And Is Our Bitch' MP3 Expired [Buy McLusky Do Dallas from Amazon]
McLusky – 'Fuck This Band' MP3 Expired [Buy McLusky Do Dallas from Amazon]
McLusky – 'Random Celebrity Insult Generator (SBN Session Version)' MP3 Expired [Original version found on 'Alan Was A Cowboy Killer EP' buy from Amazon]

The albums (each wonderfully named)
My Pain and Sadness Is More Sad and Painful Than Yours
McLusky Do Dallas
The Difference Between Me And You Is That I'm Not On Fire
McLuskyism


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