Shane Malone – Ants
I don’t have a lot of faith in songwriters that open up a book like it’s the I-Ching and start writing tunes with the first word that pops up. Sure, George Harrison did it, but I argue that after being in the presence of Lennon and McCartney for long enough, even their cleaning ladies would be able to knock a Something or Here Comes the Sun once in a while.
Yet, I too am human, and I’m prepared to admit when I’m wrong. Shane Malone wrote a tune about the first thing he saw after purchasing a new apartment, an army of ants. Rather than call the previous owner, or wonder about the state of his eyesight after failing to remark the situation on previous visits, Mr Malone must have lunged for his guitar and put the experience to music.
To be fair, the result is a great one, and the ants become a metaphor, I gather, for the slow march of time. Malone also decries the fate of the ants who, after serving as inspiration for this indie-pop gem, were forced to deal with an exterminator not wishing to show them much leniency. You won’t get this out of a Taylor Swift song, for sure. The next time you wonder, “Well, what have ants done for me lately?” this may come to mind.
Maddock Park – Water
I don’t mind Christian Rock or any fate-based art form. To be honest, since most music these days is vacant of any meaning or logic, I’d much rather hear someone sing about something that they’re genuinely passionate about. It could be the Lord or celery.
The one thing that has stopped me from getting into Christian rock is not their attitude towards secular music, nor is it their tendency to preach. For the most part, it’s been the lack of good tunes, and especially the absence of grooves. Most Christian-rock bands sound like they’ve purposely employed Finnish drummers as a rule of thumb. And, as we have detailed on this site, with minor exceptions, the sound of a Finnish person trying to catch a groove is a slow, painful torture that should not be enforced on anybody with functioning ears.
However, Maddock Park’s Water genuinely grooves and swings. It took me a few listens to remark that the song has words. It could well have saved up on those. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the singing. It’s sweet and dandy. It’s that damn fuzzed-out garage riff and the drum sound that makes this resemble a long-lost Jack White/The Strokes collaboration. Write great tune, and the fateful will, no doubt, follow.