When I have myself this project, it was to expose myself to new and different music. I had become too comfortable with the music in my heavy rotation playlist and was reluctant to reach out to music that went against my normal fare. I wanted to listen to the weird and odd, music in genres I’d normally step away from or just stuff that was unknown.
So this is all my own fault really.
Reverend Beat-Man is Swiss man that answers a question, namely what would happen if Rob Zombie and gravely-voiced singer-songwriter Tom Waits had a lovechild. His low, throaty vocals remind me of Tom, as does his odd arrangements for his songs, with unorthodox instruments and an ever changing style, and the harsh guitar and fun of Rob Zombie at his best.
I’ve never experienced an album that is so perfectly named. The very first song, The Clown of the Town, is lazy, surreal folky-blues song with gospel style lyrics. The second track, I belong to you, ditches the folk and gospel and is a pure blues song, albeit one that you’ve heard while asleep and has penetrated into your dream.
I think my favourite song and the one that sums up the album perfectly is Jesus Christ Twist. I don’t know why it’s my favourite, it feels like a satanic version of mid ’60s rock with a guitar riff that doesn’t change throughout the whole song. It’s like a charging freight train, the drums the hammering of the piston and the good Reverend’s vocals blare out like a foghorn. The song was immediately added to my ‘Liked’ music list and a lot of the rest of the album joined it.
Of all the albums I have listened to so far, this leans closest to Suicide but doesn’t ever take itself as seriously. Songs speed up and slow down when they’re getting too repetitive, one song just sort of ends, it doesn’t tail off but it sort of whimpers out and ends after a totally unexpected acoustic moment.
The German polka Meine Kleine Russian made me smile from ear to ear. Why? not a clue, I think because it’s totally ridiculous and follows a rather sensible and sombre song. The juxtaposition in the this album makes each track feel different and interesting, like running through a mirror maze. You know a complete change of direction is coming, but you can never predict it and end up smashing your face against the glass.
The more ridiculous songs never out stay their welcome either. The more outlandish songs barely push 90 seconds and most are over before three minutes. The traditional album tracks with a standard song structure are all there, but with these mad gems sprinkled in between.
This is an album that has been produced really well. The ordering feels deliberate and the songs themselves all are different and exiting enough to keep you listening. The music is odd and totally outside of my normal listening, but I like this album. I really like the album. Best of all it encouraged me to listen to more of Reverend Beat-Man’s work, which is everything I wanted to get from one of these ‘reviews’.
Will the good run carry on? Join us tomorrow and find out when I listen to something a little bit more chill…