The Difference Between You And Me Is That I'm Not On Fire
By: Eric Greenwood
My, how we've toned down since Mclusky Do Dallas. Andy Falkous' full-throttle shriek has morphed into a far more digestible, dare I say, singing voice? The ghost of The Jesus Lizard is alive and well in the music, though, so rest easy; Mclusky hasn't totally mellowed. Steve Albini is back to make the drums sound like nothing else in the world matters, while the wiry guitars still tip more than the occasional hat to Joey Santiago before exploding into riotous bursts of Amphetamine Reptile-style noise. Also, still fully intact are Falkous' absurdly sarcastic lyrics and song titles ("Without MSG I Am Nothing", "Your Children Are Waiting for You To Die", "Falco vs. the Young Canoeist"). If the fact that Albini seems to bury Falkous' yelps behind too much dissonance bothers you, there's plenty of joyous wreckage to revel in.
It's only slightly disappointing, though, that Mclusky would even consider retreating from the assault that was Mcluskly Do Dallas. That album was so brutally over the top that it made me laugh out loud with joy. I can think of few bands that could out-rock Mclusky on a good night- maybe not even Refused at the top of its game. The dynamics are certainly sharper and more distinct now, if the vocals are tamer. The quiet parts shrink back into near silence, and then it's as if the band members sneak back to their amps and turn them up all the way before blasting back into the songs. Mclusky is not here to make you think. No cerebral bullshit to deal with. In fact, you may not even understand why you love it so much. That primal impulse that makes you want to smash skulls together for no reason will be the devil perched on your shoulder as you listen.