Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Robert Brokenmouth

Robert Brokenmouth from Mike Retter on Vimeo.

Who is this guy, anyway?

Robert Brokenmouth's South Australian scribe who once wrote a book about Nick Cave (and here's his review of Cave's novel And the Ass Saw the Angel). He also writes for the I-94 Bar when the spirit moves him.

He recently sent me a CD, Inside Outdoors, which was "recorded on our days off during 2009" and self-released under the rubric Robert Brokenmouth and The Hell With You. We'd communicated online a bit before that. He asked for links to The Great Tyrant and Pinkish Black's stuff, so my ears perked up when I was listening to his CD's opening track and heard him intone "Everything went black," which just happens to be the title of every song on Pinkish Black's debut album-in-progress.

Indeed, his wails and sobs on "Comet" (accompanied by a wall of electronic noise, not unlike what HIO laid down in the Kessler green room back in March, which creates an aura of dread and malaise) sound like a more unhinged version of Pinkish Black's Daron Beck, which is to say they sound like Suicide's "Frankie Teardrop" pushed entahrly over the edge, or a man being flayed alive. Which makes it even more puzzling when he says "Thank you" at the end of the piece.

On "Begging Hat," he adopts the persona of a backwoods (outback?) character, a refugee from Cops or The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia, accompanied by banjo, of course: "I'm gonna show up for court in the morning / Bow my head yes sir, no sir / Stomach full / Then walk to the beach for the day / My begging hat on my head." "This Ain't L.A." takes the piss out of the cult of celebrity to a sequenced backing track, while "Tuesday Night" is a Zappaesque mashup of Varese-inspired percussion, random toy piano tinklings, and windup toy machine noises. "Coat" pits a delicate piano ostinato against an arcing feedback guitar solo, while Brokenmouth attempts to seduce with a creepy menace reminiscent of Rob Younger on the New Christs' "Bed of Nails": "Take the drink girl / You interrupt the process."

Brokenmouth works the same territory as Mick Farren (Deviants), Dan McGuire (Unknown Instructors), and Jeff Liles (Cottonmouth, TX). Comparisons being odious, on the pieces included here, he's less of a wordsmith than any of the aforementioned trio, and his delivery tends toward a mock dementia that becomes monochromatic after awhile. Taken purely as sound, though, his vocal performances contribute to the atmosphere of Mike Bananiac and Anton Becker's soundscapes, which are pulseless, atonal, and right up my alley.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

very kind thankyou, anton

3:34 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home