Boss Hog - Whiteout
And sometimes I also talk about rock music. I've recently been entranced by this piece of bluesy grunt from Jon Spencer's wife's band. I've yet to hear the parent album of the same name, but I remember enjoying "I Dig You" when it came out, so perhaps I should take a chance.
So what is it about "Whiteout" that drags me away from my beloved jungle and garage tracks? It's all about the contrast, baybee. Thankfully it's not the tired soft/loud/soft/loud schtick, but rather a deliberate juxtaposition of musical styles. The Pixies-like lurching, blaring stop-start verses, over which Christina Martinez's vocals are dispassionate, deadpan and darkly humourous, flow naturally yet impossibly into some sort of affirmative soul/gospel chorus sung by who I'm assuming is Jen, the band's bassist. "I'm coming to see ya/I was born to see ya/I'm coming to see the liiiiight!" It's the sort of irreverence and devil-may-care attitude (although thankfully not in an overbearing or smug manner a la Beck) towards musical antiquarianism that I love so much.
Lyrically and musically, this puts me in mind of a less tortured and more fun version of PJ Harvey circa To Bring You My Love (which would make The Blues Explosion the equivalent of The Bad Seeds, I guess), employing that same mixture of dryness and spirituality, albeit more as a half-ironic construction than as a complete persona. Thankfully, the irony isn't the main focus of the song, and as the lyrics detail a somewhat typical loss of innocence to a dark hero/lust as religious fervour narrative, the musical choices make a lot of sense. At any rate, it makes it a lot easier to accept that PJ Harvey has decided she wants to be Patti Smith, knowing that other bands are ready to step in and fill the void left behind.