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 Axes and Revelations - Miscellaneous Debris – Archive

Axes and Revelations

בקטגוריות: Uncategorized

13 Nov 2007

Have I written about Electrelane‘s Axes yet? I’m pretty sure I wrote about the band, but not the album.

After The Power Out sunk into my system, I grabbed this dark-grim-purpled-packaged CD with much trepidation, the sort you get when listening to a second album by a new band. To my relief, it proved to be even better than their previous. It’s darker. Gritty, even. Very few lyrics, most of which are for the song there they didn’t pen themselves. It sinks to lows of gloom and doom, only to pull you out of it. You can see it as a bit of a manipulative stunt, but it’s exhilarating all the way. Especially “Those Pockets Are People”, dark and fast, with repetitive guitar loops and jarring, tuneless piano building up to a gigantic climax shattered by the segue to “The Partisan”, maybe not as dramatic as Leonard Cohen’s rendition, but excellent nonetheless.

***

My gym has individual TV screens for each treadmill, but surprisingly enough no way to plug in my earphones. This meant I had Electrelane playing in the background while I walked through 10 different Muse videos playing on VH-1.

I like Muse. Despite their sometimes cheesy (but ridiculously effective) guitar loops and tendency to reuse flourishes and elements between songs and between albums. Regardless, I was struck by the themes of their videos. I know that Matthew Bellamy is all into science fiction and weird shit, but it’s really evident in the videos. Some range from plain sci-fi elements like “Song for Absolution”, some more abstract but vaguely futuristic like “Bliss”. “Hysteria”, a bit out of the genre, is a man waking up in a smashed up hotel room and reconstructing the night before from his video camera. Very well done, flashing back and forward in time until you – and the protagonist – are not sure what has already happened and what is yet to happen. “Supermassive Black Hole” and “Feeling good” are very disturbing pieces of work, with the band wearing masks of their own faces, people with animal face masks and strange sets for the former, and pinch-faced people climbing the walls in a Twin Peaks-esque red-velvet room for the latter.

An interesting video is for “Starlight”, from their latest album. It’s very straightforward compared to most of their videos, even those like “Supermassive Black Hole” and “Invincible” from the same album. Comprised mostly of the band playing on an aircraft carrier, an interesting point I noticed is that the video is full of light – sunlight, lamps, LEDs, the band lighting fireworks, helicopters shining spotlights at everything – all sorts of lights, with Starlight being the only kind absent.

The choice of songs was a bit strange – half of them were from Absolution, which I feel is the band’s weakest album yet. None at all from the first, Showbiz, which I suppose is due to there not being many videos from it. Strange. Also absent were some of their best songs such as Sunburn, Plug-In Baby and Muscle Museum.

***

Oh, found the entry about Electrelane. It was on last.fm.

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