A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but damn if it isn’t fun to do so. Self destruction can be an expressway to artistic Nirvana, the catch is that you have to ultimately shed your physical self to get there, as someone who traded under that heavenly appellation would famously find out. ‘The dead do not improve’, just segue into a misunderstood and misappropriated Valhalla defined by the hands of a cumulative bastard- hack comprised of millions with their inaccurate imaginings. In 1991, on the last page of a British Metal magazine only just starting to reinvent itself as Cobain & Co’s hurricane gathered on the horizon, was an interview with John Frusciante that was epiphanic to my adolescent mind. It was my first glimpse at his idiosyncratic way of thinking – more outlandish and Dionysian than his bandmates could ever conceive of being. The interviewer completely failed to deal with his intellect (or at least, decided it would be funnier to feign ignorance and kowtow to the meat-headed readership), and Frusciante blew my impressionable young head off shoulders that had just recently known my ‘rebellious’ hair’s first contact.
The drum kit is sentient and coated in tin foil, its human overseers gaunt and warped from light years of ST37 abuse. These two jumpsuited mutants go by the earth-names Damon Edge and Helios Creed and their clingfilm (Saran wrap) skin is pallid from sunlight estrangement. While Punk was pissing and whinging about the inequity of modern life, Chrome were taking the same musical aesthetics and shaping it into a future we were expecting after the promise of late 60s space exploration and the ensuing Universe of cautionary and allegorical Sci Fi, courtesy of some of the period’s drugs of choice.
The effect of music on the mind is allegedly secondary only to scent in its ability to transport one to the past. Since my teens I’ve had this project on the back-burner too sacred to discuss, where I seek out albums that transport me to another world. I’m not talking about your marijuana or ‘Wizard of Oz’ enhanced trip to the ‘Dark Side of the Moon’, rather that abstract artefact that clearly existed at some point in history, but for which you have no frame of reference; either in the form of anything that sounds comparable in your collection or contextualisation from anyone you’ve ever met.
For this week’s Friday Album, I’m veering off a little into leftfield, selecting the original score to the 1970 Czech film Valerie and Her Week of Wonders by composer Lubos Fiser. I initially became aware of this wonderful album when it received its first proper release on Finders Keepers Records in 2007, a label whose entire output and catalog of discoveries and reissues I cannot recommend enough. Upon first listen, I was completely in awe.
Not having posted last week I feel an obligation to do so today, and as such feel as though I’m phoning-this-in somewhat, so it’s only fitting as we enter double figures for The Sunday Song Poem that we acknowledge, celebrate, or otherwise just get-out-of-the-way what is perhaps be considered both the Daddy and red headed stepchild of the whole phenomenon. I’ve had a strained relationship with Ramsey Kearney‘s ‘Peace and Love’ (aka ‘Blind Man’s Penis’), stemming mostly from the fact that I long believed this to be as precious an exhibit of insanity as was evident in the last instalment, only to be enlightened by ‘Off The Charts: The Song Poem Story’ as to the fact that this particular song’s lyrics were intentionally so gorked.