Aug 27, 2009

Mclusky. Mcluskyism. Limited Box Set.

Mclusky apparently did well critically, but inexplicably never made much of a commercial splash. I only heard of them after they had broken up. I think they would have fared much better in the days of the Pixies, Nirvana, The Jesus Lizard, and Shellac (they worked with Steve Albini a lot), but when they debuted in '98, they had nothing in common with the commercialized "alternative" scene, the atrocious slew of rap rock bands, or the early wisps of the rising psychedelic/fey underground represented by the Elephant 6 collective. Apparently, they didn't even fare well in their native Wales. They really deserved a lot more, and now that Future of the Left is starting to garner acclaim, maybe their work as Mclusky will get a well deserved reappraisal.

Mcluskyism is a posthumous collection of their singles, b-sides, and some live material. At the very least, you need all the a-sides. This is some of the hairiest, grittiest, most acidly funny music ever laid down. They just fucking destroy on every track. It's not that difficult to come off as unhinged, but Mclusky managed to sound absolutely apeshit while still driving their songs forward like lazer-guided missiles. I suspect they had some sort of nefarious master plan, like the serial killers that pop up semi-regularly in their lyrics.

And they had killer lyrics (As well as titles. How can you resist a song called Lightsaber Cocksucking Blues?). Sometimes it's the delivery, as when lead singer Andy Falco screams "I don't wanna talk about it" all through Rice is Nice. Other times it's just poignantly creepy, like on the beautifully restrained She Will Only Bring You Happiness: "Note to invading aliens / Avoid this town / Like this town avoided us / Like murder stalked the valley / Where this woman used to live / And bathe / And breathe and be murdered....". On To Hell With Good Intentions we're repeatedly commanded to "SING IT!" having been previously informed by Falco that "my love is bigger than your love", and "we take more drugs than a touring funk band". The set finishes with what is arguably their best song, the tight, infectious Without MSG I Am Nothing. Loopily howling/chanting "Everywhere I look is darkness, darkness" over a buzzing, menacingly catchy hook that drills its way into your skull, Falco more than conjures the spirit of prime PIL era John Lydon (who should just go ahead and cover this already), while still making it totally his own sound. They simply didn't have any equals.

A Sides
B Sides
C Sides

Mclusky on myspace

3 Blurts:

Anonymous said...

It was awesome band!

Anonymous said...

That's true!
But 'B Sides' pack (aka disc 2) has crc error (at track 19). :( Could you fix it please.
Thanks for your support. BTW Sweet blog. I like sociological POV. ;) Thanks for uploadin so great stuff.

Egnu Cledge said...

Sorry, I just noticed your note. I've re-upped disc two with a fresh rip, so everything should be OK.