David Cronenberg’s Wife – Hypnagogues
Always nice to be alerted to something good, don’t you know? David Cronenberg’s wife have a new LP out. Yes we missed the first one, Bluebeard’s Rooms, and yes that is a criminal oversight because that is a fantastic release, but we weren’t alerted, see? And this review of the new LP is our way of alerting all of you.
Hypnagogues starts with Sweden, a monotonous Ted Chippendale-as-boffin monologue over a sort of speeded up, droney Church of Anthrax backing. It’s a superb introduction and one of the most exciting tracks this reviewer has heard in ages. There’s a Fall-like swagger present (the sort of bucolic stagger heard on stuff like Get A Hotel Today). I enjoy the Velvet’s vibe too. Not enough bands dig the Velvets properly. And The Lou Reed Song is the best take on Heroin/Street Hassle/Roadrunner/I Will Follow(!?!) I’ve heard.
The vocals are a mix of incredibly eloquent, funny observations and deadpan delivery, normally over a very tight, spiky sonic backdrop. And yes, thinking that (and given my earlier thoughts about Sweden), you’d immediately think there’s a touch of the M.E.S. about this whole LP. And in some ways you wouldn’t be wrong, but in my opinion, the singer sounds like Nikki Sudden (listen to the raucous Body to Sleep With and the incredibly spooky drone of Make Me a Channel of Your Peace). So there you go.
The band sound tremendous; they do a good line in shambolic now and again, like on the pissed up ‘folksy’ track In the Limo. They have a rackety thunder, as seen in Jailbird and are great at creating kitchen sink dramas, which isn’t as easy as many think. There is a genuine sense of unease about tracks like You Should’ve Closed the Curtains and Desperate Man.
Get hold of this, you won’t be disappointed.
Words: Richard Foster