Friday, 24 December 2010
If music be the food of love, put that piano in batter #5
The album that I am about to lay on you here is, in my humble opinion, the second finest record that I have ever heard.
Now, I can hear you all out there wondering "The second? Well, I wonder what the FIRST is?".
It is 'Nothingface' by Voivod.
However, I am NOT going to post that here for your delectation as, firstly, you MUST already have it, and secondly, it doesn't need the exposure quite so much as the following near-flawless gem.
The towering work of twisted genius of which I speak is 'Dante's Disneyland Inferno' by the Sun City Girls, "a giant roller coaster of a double album in 35 sizzling chapters. A searing indictment of domestic servitude in the eighteenth century with some hot Gypsies thrown in", to paraphrase a great man.
Being of a famously mercurial bent, SCG very rarely managed to maintain their genius to it's fullest extent over the course of an entire album, invariably becoming bogged-down in either ridiculous shenanigans or aimless musical wandering - granted, with a couple of glaringly obvious exceptions such as 'Torch of The Mystics' and, to a lesser extent, 'Kaliflower' - but with 1996's 'Dante's Disneyland Inferno' they managed to sustain their twisted, impish vision for a double CD set that clocks in at over 2 hours all in, and NEVER lets up once.
From the severely creepy Voudun atmos of opener 'Sexy Graveyard', to the borderline-retarded stream-of-consciousness atonal jazzbo piano fuck-up of closer, 'Bird Of Prey', this recording covers every base that one could possibly hope to have covered within the repertoire of the three trickster-gods-in-human-form that are Sun City Girls.
You want creepy weirdness? Howsabout 'A Bad Dream' with it's closing question of "...Heh heh heh heh, any o' you new age women ever eat dog?", 'Jack The Ripper', the odd wordplay of 'The Harley Of Horror', the cut-up, dreamlike and occasionally shuddering-inducing 'A Secret Revealed Unwittingly', or the decidedly strange tale of 'Jessup's Diary'.
You want soused-sounding nonsense-shanties? Howsabout the bands call-to-arms and general statement of intent 'Soft Fragile Eggshell Minds', the drunken organ of 'A Man is an Insect is a Flame' and 'Six Kids of Mine', the bouyant-sounding 'Ruby on the Ferris Wheel', or the drunken lament of 'The Ballad of Co-Dependency'?
You want oddball semi-spoken-word jazzbo rambling? Hell, they got it in SPADES - 'Flesh Balloons of Tibet', 'The Geography of the Swastika', 'Joan Of Arc', 'Holiday for Shakespeare', 'Dan And Ross'.....I could go on.
They do it all.....and THEN some.
The lions share of this masterpiece is driven by 'Satanic Director At Large', the sadly deceased Charles Gocher Jr, percussionist and.....uhhh.....whatEVER-the-fuck, for the Girls (aside from the obligatory interjection from your old Uncle Jim), and his jazz sensibilities and screwball lyrical jive run rampant herein.
I really could wax lyrical about this damn thing ALL FUCKING NIGHT AND DAY, but I won't. I'll let you discover it for yourself. So, go get it.
Is it difficult? HELL yes, it's difficult - the first disc is emblazoned with a swastika that got me some VERY dubious looks when spotted (it's ok, it's not THAT one, it's the 'nice one'), but y'know, that makes it aaaaaaall the better, if you ask me. You gotta WORK at it, to reveal the creamy goodness inside.
Sadly for you, 'Dante's Disneyland Inferno' is loooong out of print in any format aside from as an expensive triple-LP boxset, but, y'know, it MAY be expensive, but maaaaaaan is it WORTH it. Hunt it out, you won't be disappointed.