That Transgender Dysphoria Blues would succeed was no foregone conclusion; in fact, that Against Me! would fail seemed incredibly likely. After a couple mediocre albums and frequent lineup changes, AM! seemed primed to fade even more.
All said, I have deduced that BOSH! is the road runner, and I am the coyote. Even after so many listens and despite my best efforts, it still manages to stay three steps ahead. I endeavour to catch it, even under the pretense that I never will.
Have a Nice Life don’t do things by halves. In fact, their critically acclaimed 2008 debut Deathconciousness was a staggeringly ambitious double album with a repress that came equipped with a meaty 70 page book of lore, a move which further delighted the conceptual revellers who had already elevated the record into something of a cult classic.
Fraught with young scepticism and the brininess of regret, The Dark, Dark Bright expends all the energy it can muster on trying to tame the rough seas that lash against it. The often-sought solace of crescendos that is part and parcel with emotionally wrought music is prevalent in such a way that isn’t just manufactured and obtuse.
Alexithymia’s barbed, off-kilter electro rhythms are like long strings of binary code shivering across the telephone wires of metropolis; silent stormcatchers that loom uncomfortably above the monotony of everyday life.
For anyone who’s ever stayed up through graveyard hours into the next day, the sunrise seems less like an event and more like a discovery. Sure, it’s the same sun you’ve always seen, the same streets and buildings, but it all somehow feels unprecedented in the grey light.
The feathers that make up the fletching on Peace Arrow’s arrow are manifold – dainty little artifacts that are fragile in isolation but potent by their powers combined. The fleeting acoustic guitar snips that enter and exit your field of vision like a moth drunk on moonlight, the jaw-snapping-shut drumstick thwacks, the distant, looming tomtom thumps and the menagerie of bleats, croaks and peeps that steer it interlock like the two sides of a zip.
Whether it’s the 60s diner jukebox or the 90s garage rock malaise that draws you in, it’s the cordiality cradling the two that yields such a fruitful, identifiable final product. Everyone will see a little bit of themselves in the wolf-masked girl that graces its cover. You’ve got to put on a brave face sometimes.
Let’s not get hung up on the ‘Britishness’ of the music of the Young Knives. While it’s certainly true that their debut full-length Voices of Animals and Men supported itself with its distinctly British-sounding oddities – yelped lines like “You were screaming at your mum and I was punching your dad!” and acute, awkward instrument playing – their talents extend beyond poking fun at the mildewed mundaneness of suburban British life.
Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington have created a sound that is above all else natural, to the point of defying the unworldly, manufactured fabric of electronic music. The minute attention they have afforded to the gaps and cavities is remindful of the everyday ambience so often lost in transmission.