Goodbye MrMacKenzie: Glory Hole
The original version of this album has been like searching for the holy grail for many Goodbye Mr MacKenzie fans for years now. The success of their return to the live scene and re-release of their debut album Good Deeds and Dirty Rags seemed to have triggered the demand once again for this rarity. While the completists will still strive for that rare copy coming up on re-sale sites (it has a slightly different track list and running order), for most this will fill that Glory Hole gap in their collection with its long awaited and well deserved remaster and re-release, complete with new artwork courtesy of Maria Rud. Glory Hole is an immense powerhouse of an album, bursting with raw bombastic energy.
For a band who once released a live album called “On the Day of Storms”, Glory Hole has band bringing the sound of crashing thunder from dark ominous clouds, with a vital raw energy and passion reminiscent of the likes of The Stooges Raw Power.
From the off, the “thunder” is present, a deeply resonant pounding drum beat and a burst of Johnny Thunders style riffing introduces Prince of Wales, if you didn’t know better, you’d be forgiven for thinking this song featured a vocal from Richard Butler, the timbre of Martin’s deeply rich baritone resembling the Psychedelic Furs frontman.
Throughout the album Martin’s familiar brogue take’s on different characteristics depending on the requirements of the song, from spitting venom on She’s Got Eggs, creating an ominous growl on Smile, to soaring on Space Neurotic.
Special mention must go to the potently compelling rhythm section of Kelly and Fin, this album gives a particularly great insight not their strident penetrating playing, forming an impenetrable solid base for the songs, as well as giving them an often sinister dark gothic edge.
Mix that with the influence of Bowie on Martin, his love of the late great rock chameleon has never been a secret, so much so that the epic Space Neurotic sounds at times like Bowie fronting a Love Like Blood era Killing Joke.
She’s Got Eggs is one of the album highlights for me, it’s pounding start, introducing Martin’s seething vocal spitting out lyrics full of unfettered rage. Regardless of the object of Metcalfe’s ire on this song this is a perfect cathartic listen for anyone who feels a rising frustration with anyone in their life. “How many times can one little pice of shit, enter everyone’s lives and have an effect on it” indeed. And it must surely be the only song to namecheck Johnny & Fanny Craddock (young people – ask your parents about Fanny’s doughnuts)
As well as bringing this collection of songs to a new audience who missed out on Glory Hole the first time around, the album also introduces us to what was to come later in the form of Isa & the Filthy Tongues/The Filthy Tongues, the demo of Call Me particularity taking on an entirely different feel to the version with Stella on vocals.
Essential Goodbye Mr MacKenzie
This is an essential part of Goodbye Mr MacKenzie’s history, the missing piece of the jigsaw for hose who have been desperately trying to acquire a copy for years. More than that though, it’s just a throughly great collection of raw muscular goth tinged edgy rock, the sound of a band with a fire in their belly.