Sunday, 29 April 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #151 - Richard Hawley, "Standing at the Sky's Edge"

Not a fan of Richard Hawley. On the beach waving at the Hawley ship as it steams off over the horizon over millpond seas. Stuck in a lounge with Fifties moves, they are; crooning and big guitar and greased back hair and Buddy Holly glasses. I don't get it - why roll back to that time? I'll manage without all the McCarthyism and Mad Men sexual politics and cup cakes and boogie fukken woogie, thanks. When I'm feeling more charitable, I think of Scott Walker, but there's none of the quaking paranoia underpinning his sound that made Walker so charismatic.

I've read that this is his angry album: a response to the fuckery that Britain is toiling under at the callous (but not calloused) hands of arrogant posh boys. Certainly the guitar on the opener has a corrosive grind to it. I'm not too happy about the lyrical opening of the title track though - a "good" but desperate man who killed his wife and children. Queasy - it's a bit old school again. "Seek It" is back in the mellow, hanging about with The Shadows again with it's "Blinded by love" refrain. Not my cha. "Don't Stare at the Sun" has a Get Carter feel.

There's more of a cosmic feel about this album then what I've heard before. Although I haven't normally listened especially hard to older stuff, as the non-modernity of it all has put me off. A city that produced The Human League and Cabaret Volatire and (at a stretch) Arctic Monkeys seems a curious place for such retroactive music. But then Manchester had a raft of musical innovators until O**** came and shat their stench all over the rhubarb.

In these dark times, maybe we're reaching for a soft, strong voice in the middle of the night.

Rating: Cosmos out of Consequences

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