Mclusky: Mcluskyism (The Arkive)
Out: Record Store Day 2015 (15 April)
7 / 10
Finally getting a vinyl release for Record Store Day, Mclusky’s final release, Mcluskyism, still sounds as exciting and as invigorating as it did when it first appeared in 2006. Simon Tucker reviews for Louder Than War.
Cardiff’s Mclusky are one of those (many) bands that were not given their full dues at the time and only after they broke up did their full influence become more acutely obvious. During their time together, the band managed to create some of the most visceral and exciting music in the post-hardcore scene, bridging the Atlantic to spew forth a sound seeped in American influences but never once derogatory or falling into pastiche.
Now, nine years after its initial release (coming out back then in that old-fashioned CD format) we get to hear the album (a compilation of the band’s singles for the uninitiated) on vinyl and boy does it sound good. The vinyl format suits this album perfectly as you really get to feel the full punch of the instrumentation and vocals are made sharper and richer and highlight the raw-slash production of Steve Albini (keep an eye on this guy, he could go far).
To Hell With Good Intentions and Alan Is A Cowboy Killer perfectly encapsulate what the band were about with speed/stop/start/sludge riffing, changed time signatures, and an utter abandonment of shackles but out of all that is good here there are two songs that stand high above the rest – Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues and closer Without MSG I Am Nothing. Both are succinct examples of a band unique in sonic and lyrical approach as they destroy/rebuild the song structure (LCB) and smother your world in darkness (WMIAN). Lyrically (and the rest of the album) they are darkly humorous with comments on celebrity culture, right-wingers and relationship breakdowns all covered in an extremely enjoyable way. The band certainly had a great line in..um..lines as phrases pop out into your psyche all over the record…
“Your heart’s gone the colour of coke-a-cola”
“Your son looks like Michael Jackson”
“My love is bigger than your love” etc etc……
With members splintering into other, equally influential, bands (Future Of The Left, Shooting At Unarmed Man) the history books will rightly judge Mclusky to be a rocking, progressive, witty, and damn fine rock band.
All words by Simon Tucker whose Louder Than War author’s archive is here.