Swerve – My Enemy Is Dead
Noel Gallagher was surely very good at creating stadium-sized anthems centred around the problems and adventures of the working class. He was also great at writing terrific tearjerkers that melded Lennon’s melodies to kitchen sink drama storylines. And, although blessed with a wicked sense of humour, that never really came through to the music.
There’s a heightened power of irony in newer generations though. It comes through not merely in the jokes, but in the way, they approach most topics worth talking about. It’s the world in which everyone has a favourite stand-up just as they would have a favourite singer or a sports club that they support.
Swerve, to me, contains those two worlds that we feared would never fully meet. They have the Oasis like melodies and titanic choruses down, but there is satire and contempt for the world that’s hard to ignore even as they attempt honesty.
My enemy is dead is that kind of record. Fans of classic rock songwriting will surely get their kicks here, but so will indie-rock kids that aren’t quite ready to buy into the whole thing about wonder walls and not looking back in anger.
Banquet Darling – One Roll Experience
By the time that Tom Waits started making his Junkyard trilogy of albums during the 1980s, he had been at it for many years. Seen as a folk troubadour and bohemian poet, the sharp turn towards more avant-garde, less aesthetically pleasing elements caught many by surprise. Naturally, those in the know were busy to proclaim this to be career suicide.
However, Waits recorded arguably his best and most beloved work. Those records contain songs that while playful, seem challenging even today. Similarly, Banquet Darling has set about recreating the pop music experience through a set of strange images, campy vocals and an odd, complex orchestration to his songs.
One roll experience is the perfect example of this. The song mixes intricate harmony vocals with rock and circus music. It all feels like taking a stroll through the still assembled sets of a Tim Burton film. The guitar kicks and wails like Marc Ribot at his most focused. It’s strange music for times when nothing feels more appropriate than hiding out indoors.