After delighting in their mope-electro “Girl and the Sea” single, what I’ve heard from the new Presets album just bites the dog testicles. Songs, gentlemen, make for real electro. The new Built to Spill, You in Reverse, has a paltry one good track, and we’ve unfortunately been hearing it for months, because it was the lead single, “Going Against Your Mind.” And aside from the first skit “Our Operators are Masturbating” and maybe the track “Ants” for its pseudo-hyphy sythns care of the Avalanches’ DJ Dexter, the new Dr. Octagon record is a real tragedy. I’d say someone should rape Kool Keith with a blow pop, but he’d probably enjoy that, if it hasn’t paid someone to have it done to himself already. After breakfast. With a Rufus record on the turntable.
Scott Walker is the effin’ frikkin’ motherfargin’ %^$#%# Man. His phresh new rekkid, Drift, comes out in mere days, and it’ll push the pretenders back into their pre-schools and just mindflay anything else out there. Neophytes, please don’t try this at home, or in mixed company. To the relaxed, modern listener focused on the adult-contemporary moods of Death Cab or Wilco, Walker will spur underwear-soiling incredulity as would opera gone rotten, which it is, when a California-to-Europe transplant-ex-pop-idol recluse, now in his sixties, writes horror-cinema avant about Elvis Presley’s stillborn twin, Jesse. You heard me, but you don’t have to believe me. See the video on his 4AD site.
I’m ready to accept hatred from Philistines for this. But you have to — no must – accept Walker’s bravery in taking opera punk. Maybe Diamonda Galasshole does it too, but she’s nuts and, worse, kinda Goth.
Before this inspired madness, Walker dropped poppy pap under the Walker Brosthers moniker with two unrelated dudes in the 50s and 60s, but by the late 60s Walker was wowing them with solo records, although his monumental Scott 4 flopped saleswise. A crime, that, because his singing style influences those Knights of Classic Rock, namely Bowie and Morrissey (admit it, he’s classic rock by now) with the latter almost trying him on wholesale. The Walker Brothers reunite to middling success in the mid-seventies, but four tracks on their 1978 Nite Flights, sung by Scott Walker, inspire Bowie and Roxy Music in ways that would change much of indie rock to come. And then Walker drops out, for the most part, rarely interviewed or even seen, making one album per decade, last being 1995’s Tilt, until now.
I don’t have Drift yet, but I’m working on it, so here’s my Walker faves from Scott 4, which I always keep close.
Scott Walker – The Old Man’s Back Again
I recall reading this was about Stalin; dunno for sure. Let’s call it the theme song for the new album.
Scott Walker – The Seventh Seal
Directly about Bergman’s movie. Sometimes something’s so ludicrous and inspired that it’s beautiful. Like aural outsider art.
Scott Walker — Boy Child
What Morrissey will die wishing he had recorded.