“The things that once gave me pleasure now turn to dust and ashes in the mouth”.
I do love that phrase. It gives me so much pleasure that saying it almost makes the words taste like ripe fruit. Most music “turns to Durst and Ash in the ears.” Whether it’s the taint of bad experience or the fact that I have played things to death, I can’t say, but yesterday everything, even my favourites, sounded like a shapeless cacophony of irritating notes. In order to wash away the taste, I cycled to ULU to see some “hot” new bands.
Due to the singer’s mumbling between-song voice, I can’t tell you name of the first band, which is a shame as one would want to avoid them in the future. There were a bunch of 16 year old public schoolboys playing nu-metal, wearing those undignified long shorts ‘n’ hoodies, in a cavernous and desolate venue. A group of 6 teenage girls hollered and encouraged them, but that is par for the course: say what you want about unreconstructed rock bands, but they do get female admirers. Take Mogul, for instance . . .
You’ve heard of the Australian Doors, well Mogul look and sound like the Neanderthal Reef. All bare chests and bumcracks; big riffs and shaggy hair. A group of twenty rock chicks were going crazy for them, they just couldn’t get enough of their unrefined masculinity. All of them – the girls included – are living a dreary and dog-eared dream of rock ‘n’ roll excess. Their pleasures are like dead sea fruit, pretty on the outside but dust and ashes inside.
Indeed, the difference between Mogul and Redjetson could not be more pronounced. Instantly the venue haemorrhages anyone wearing leather and/or lace. Redjetson play priestly post-rock, their arrangements are epic and compelling – quiet for a bit, then VERY LOUD, but subtly so. Like Explosions in the Sky, they have three guitars, each of them playing different lines to add depth and texture. Unlike EitS, they also have lyrics, which is far more palatable for those of us not quite pure enough to enjoy instrumentals. The Sky is Breaking, in particular, builds up to an insistent intensity in which you can lose yourself.
Unlike other bands, Redjetson don’t try to ignore the bitter taste of dust ‘n’ ash that life brings. Instead they have incorporated into their songs, giving them a mysterious and weighty beauty.