Thursday, 17 May 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #183 - Irma Vep, "HA HA"

I've heard the name batted about in recent times, but I don't really have an idea of how he/they/she/it would sound. Bearing in mind the patronage of Alan Holmes, I'd assume it could be something a little kosmische, something with a Bohemian glint.

"Love is Loving Someone Else's Baby Tonight" sets out a stall of lonesome arthouse troubadour, all intensity and occasional cups of coffee. This reads back like condescension, but I think it's because I don't really get that model - I keep it on the outside. The opening track, "A Curse", is less verbal, more of a bad-tempered raga. Which would make sense, I suppose. I've read he's based (and that he is a lone he) in Manchester, but comes from Anglesey. The lovelorn tune suggests Sweet Baboo, both in voice and tone and subject matter. "It's hard to hold onto something/You never held that tight."

Heart cracks widen during "There's Nothing Wrong With Feeling Wrong". I'm not sure what "Readers Wives" is about, but I suspect there is a bedsit sort of theme going on. Nice, hacking indie acoustic guitar. The Rolling Stones arrive from some sweet dimension in which they stopped being famous almost before they started - "All people are poison/Just wanna avoid them" - and bluesy it about on a low budget. Then some great throwing up noises. Then it crashes into a slowing tape - Crunch!

Previous album reviews of the singer-songwriter types have been moidering about wanting to hear urgent, desperate, cracked music. Here it rumbles. "Michelle (A Cold Place)" is far more in tune with what I think Jack Black thinks he should sound like to me. Actually, I change my mind about that; I'm not sure in what direction though. But he mumbles something about "werewolf", so I'm sold.

"Bare in mind/That you're mine/All the time/And is it OK/If I sold you?"

It all closes with advice to "Be A Mother" and something about being a "fucker". I've tried listening to it a couple of times, and I can't quite make it all out. The emotion of it overruns the sense of the words; but it sounds like a philosophy.

Rating: Lovelorn out of Krautfolk

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