The 71st edition of the Heavy Rotation is an unfocused as ever, swerving chaotically from chaos (Arab on Radar) to icy (Gatekeeper) to jangly (Robyn Hitchcock) to dark (Zola Jesus) to icy and spacey (Soft Moon). Small doses, evenly spaced, might be the best course of action. If you’d like a track removed, email me at email@example.com.
L I N K S
Sweden: home of quality sex changes and the Pirate Party. The latter apparently isn’t enough. Now there’s a semi-official Pirate Religion (Kopimism). Someone familiar scratches the surface of their theology.
Speaking of “pirates,” the RIAA has finally produced a killer chart detailing file sharing’s destruction of their industry. It’s an incredibly stupid chart (sales would grow indefinitely? Albums purchased per capita?) and as such, is mocked relentlessly (“Napster Kills the Kerosene Industry“) by an author whose self-promotion we are tiring of swiftly.
Oh, yeah. Clifton’s back. For now. I’ll try to have him kick out something every couple of weeks or so, but I’ve made promises like this before. Caveat emptor and all that.
More Heavy Rotation here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives
Nope. This isn’t any of that tired bullshit. This is Gatekeeper in full on attack mode, blowing past their electro-altar dedicated to the holy trinity of atmospheric soundtracking (John Carpenter, Giorgio Moroder and Goblin) and straight towards the analog ghost of industrial past, summoning such long-gone (or past their prime) antagonists as Skinny Puppy, Front 242 and the above-mentioned FLA. Dark and convulsive stuff.
Sauntering out of the darkened corners of the underground, Zola Jesus projects doom and gloom like the reanimated corpse of Siouxie Sioux, pitting her distinctive voice against the minor chord undertow.
Very few songwriters can coin a phrase like Robyn Hitchcock can. Even fewer can weave these phrases into bittersweet songs of devotion. And I don’t think anyone else could get away with inserting the phrase “Google me” into a song like this without sounding jokey or cloying.
But he makes it work. And that’s why his cult-like following is, well, so cult-like. He’s a wickedly incisive absurdist who writes a love song like no one else can. Or probably even should.
Sounding more like Public Image Ltd. than PIL did past 1985 or so, Arab on Radar whips up a post-punk racket, utilizing little more than some strafing guitar runs and a concussive breakbeat that sounds about a step or two removed from the Chemical Brothers’ Setting Sun. (Or going way back — the Beatles’ Tomorrow Never Knows.)
There’s angry-sounding raving all over the place, probably attacking the status quo or some such. I can see this doing permanent damage to listeners, especially live and would probably open up a portal to hell if ever remixed properly and aimed at the club crowd.
Soft Moon mine the desolate heart of space rock, channeling the “sinking ship” desperation that lies somewhere between denial and acceptance as the heroes/victims ride out their final moments in a glorified tin can as their space station’s orbit steadily decays.