bassdrum cowbell saxophone yelp
went to see the Rapture's free in-store gig at fopp last nite (also got tickets to the gig at Heaven in september, nice). cramped little underground caverns, low ceilings, bare walls dripped with sweat and damp, this is where you want to be seeing the Rapture (ie basically that one image, the cover of 'House of Jealous Lovers,' defines how you will always hear them.
there are sporadic ILM threads about 'albums that sound like their cover art,' and i always think, surely more interesting would be 'albums that don't', i mean personally i think the artwork for every album i've ever heard has probably influenced the way i've heard it, the images sparked by the visuals are only always confirmed by the images in the sounds, it's like hearing a new word for the first time then suddenly hearing it everywhere; if you're trying to hear something you'll hear it. artwork is not accidental. this is why bands and record labels employ designers. what would 'loveless' sound like if it's cover was that of 'the beta band.'? what would 'the blueprint' sound like if it's cover was that of 'illmatic'?
\@```+=and we're back on track
the band yelping away in some dank nyc club. at glastonbury they were good but it was pretty wrong, them dwarfed by the stage's superstructure, sending out dark lines of bass and metallic clang that wafted briefly over our heads before getting caught in the west country winds, rising out of reach, drifting aimlessly and dissipating somewhere over the stone circle. ie it sounded good, but the sound wasn't good. what this band want is confined space and darkness. they want narrow walls that bounce the boom back at them the moment it booms. they want it to bounce around inside your head (your head = a low ceilinged damp cavern) with nowhere to go to except back on itself. the impact depends on the inescapable thump of the bass drum and the tinnitus ring of the guitar stabs, and the way that both echo (nb also the 2 voices, echoing each other, half-repeating each other's phrases) over themselves (and, yes, ladies'n'gennelmen, the rapture's album is of course called 'echoes')
e c h o e s
do you hear echoes of gang of four? the contortions? duran duran? yes. did any of them have this bass drum? no. those people were getting to grips with disco. the rapture have had 25 years longer to think about it, what's more they've had house helpfully showing them the way, and they've got it. they see
kick boom. and what's weird is, why haven't more people got it? why aren't there a million people doing what the rapture do? why isn't it top of the pops? what is it that people want from rock music that isn't provided here? melody? pffft!