I?ve always been a fan of bad singers. Give me Stephen Malkmus, Bernard Sumner and Mark E Smith over Chris Cornell et all any day of the week. Indie music must be the only contemporary musical idiom in which ineptitude is positively encouraged: tremulous, anti-muso, overtly incompetent (that?ll be the inner geek turmoil; gets in the way of scales-practise), feel my authentic kooky charm whilst fawning over my lopsided lo-fi fringe. Scribbles, baby, I?m a mess. Just like you, the listener, is presumably the idea. Hell, it works for me sometimes. Done properly.
Pat Rocles of New York?s Tiger Cried Beef takes this anti-singing lark too far, however. His singing throughout ?Facts About Fascism? is so off-key, it?s actually unpleasant to have to listen to. At least they manage to clean Ian Brown up in the studio. With Rocles, nobody has dared say anything, presumably because he?s in charge, or Mr Rocles Snr loaned them the money for their van. Thanks Mr Rocles!
Actually, at first he gets away with it ? lead track ?Life of Convenience? emerges wearily like some smacked-out ?Sister Lovers? outtake: unsteady Chilton harmonies wheezed out over hamfisted acoustic guitar and half asleep two-note guitar solo. Sadly this wee gem is utterly unrepresentative of what follows ? lumpen workaday indiemusic ? like Teenage Fanclub/ Husker Du / Soft Boys at their most grey and uninspired, with one of their roadies on vocals. I bet they all play with their mouths open too.
If these really are the facts about fascism, then the free world really doesn?t have all that much to worry about? until the next Skrewdriver record
. 3/10 -- Seb Hunter (22 May, 2007)