Sunday, 23 October 2011

Gojira - The Link [2003]

Ashamed I must confess that for a long time (way too long!) Gojira meant to me one of the Guitarist’ cards with best virtuosos of that instrument (and quite a hottie in that case) + a few songs I quite enjoyed. The rest seemed too technical and boring to my ‘sophisticated and progressive taste’:P Yet this spring when I decided to clean my hard drive, Gojira ‘accidentally’played itself showing quite a different image of themselves...

Dry, thick drum rises and in The Link with powerful guitar creates an original song with a catchy riff, irregular, trancing rhythm and lovely out-of-tune chorus. What else is linked in this piece? a declaration of independence with will to build, create things and ‘being there’ for other people. And how could you expect such a declaration not to be screamed?!

Death of Me was caused by jumping elephants in the intro and a mad argument between Duplantier brothers (oh pity their mother if they did argue like this in childhood!). Yet in the later part everything gets more polite – repetitive drum and riff and growl-recitation (did you know growls can be polite?). Connected is a small interlude made of tiny wooden drums that have great power of shaking my arms...

But we’re not playing games here! Remembrance shall show it – since the very beginning – raw guitar, regular drum and a threatening scream of Joe’s. From the half everything slows, guitars get lower and drums more intense. Accompanied by the sounds out of this world we come into Torii, an unearthly beautiful and peaceful bridge ( a delicate, caressing guitar reminding a bit of Opeth’s acoustics...) What story could such a wonderful music tell? When you can’t find light in your life, search in your memories, past is something you can yet control.

The curtain of water falls with Torii and we’re on the Wild West! Indians musically (and rhythmically at most!) picture stupid White Faces attacking great Red Skins. So, there is a march (technical, regular part) and a chaos of war (another argument). Let’s scalp those lame badasses!

What if the only to cut away from evil is to drown it? Duplantiers repeat 'I Embrace The World' as a kind of mantra, that unites them with nature. And I have to say I get very fond of ground&grass when those exotic, mad sounds rise my body.

Yet Inward Movement brings the euphoria to an end. Everything is freezing in sadness:
Slow inside I take my time
will come and fill the empty space
my wound I'll nurse I'll understand
my pain one day will disappear

If Lars von Trier enjoyed metal, I’d recommend him using guitar outro of the song to prom his new Melancholia. You can literally feel how the music becomes roots and mug that forbid you to run.

But Gojira doesn’t want you to die, they just want you to *think*. That’s why Over the Flows talks about examining your heart and finding proper solutions. So the music is a beautiful solution – shadow of drums and a simple, anxious guitar line.

He who learns must suffer
and even in our sleep
pain falls drop by drop
upon the heart

Against our will
wisdom comes

And as it comes, all our world is shaking! The trembling, cold guitar line brings to my mind music with which Pegasus kept informing me ‘you’re time is running out, expect game over’

The anxiety reaches its top at Dawn – all the earth forces break lose. Guitars weep, squeak, scream, tremble and the drums swing from mad fury to sad march. Pure, well-organised chaos (and as you know – entropia always wins). So how could it end? in no other way than birds’ singing.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Jeff Buckley - Grace [1994]

Few men prayed love and music with such a dedication as Jeff Buckley. And few managed to get as much love with just one album. Few listeners didn’t fall in love with Grace and THAT voice – and it has fans between both pop and metal musicians, young and old people... Ladies and gentlemen, musical masterpiece of love!

I'm lying in my bed, the blanket is warm
This body will never be safe from harm
Still feel your hair, black ribbons of coal
Touch my skin to keep me whole

Dreamingly whispered spells of love fill Mojo Pin with love from their first notes. But this song is in fact a struggle with oneself – from ‘my love, give me more’ to ‘don’t wanna weep for you, don’t wanna know’. And it perfectly shows how capricious a heart can be. So does the music swing between shy arpeggios and intense rides.

Title song is an astonishing combination of simple acoustic guitar parts, dry drums and strings. And as Jeff sings ‘Wait in the fire’ it really seems that this song burns marks on your ears. Marks reminding you to come back to this tune. Singing gets much braver in this song and together with distorted parts of synthesizer it really blows my head off.

Last Goodbye drops on peacefully – cute, fat bass riff, simplified background and slowly growing voice shows how wide and deep it is. Shouldn’t all splits be that happy in sound? Even though it’s a little bitter:
Kiss me, please kiss me
But kiss me out of desire, babe, and not consolation
Jeff’s goodbye is full of peaceful regret not anger.

Lilac Wine is harder tune to me. The cover of James Shelton however greatly prepared, can’t charm me as much as Jeff’s original songs. Lullaby-like, with 80s singing manners and hardly any music apart from vocals. Yet it’s one of the best lyrics and a really good song after a couple of listens.

So Real(ly) thrilled I am each time I listen to nr 5! Amazingly suiting guitars and crawling vocals (not to mention lowly whispered bridge!) easily make one of the rock masterpieces. Again Jeff shows how much he can do with his voice still being more passionate than all modern singers taken together. He’s shaken and mysterious while he wonders but clear in his scream ‘Oh it was so real!’

Since I come from poor generation that was raped in the youth with Shrek’s Fiona’s Hallelujah obsession, I never could enjoy song in original L. Cohen version without instant image of green ogres swimming in the mug. Yes, that sucked. But when I heard Jeff’s remake a few times I began to appreciate beauty of this song. Hoarse voice of young man that spends way too much time kissing and whispering love spells, ascetic guitar (and well, a couple of views of live performances) and green horror disconnected from the music;)

Lover, You Should've Come Over is a song about unability to keep a relationship despite much love.
Yes I, I feel too young to hold on
And I'm much too old to break free and run
Too deaf dumb and blind to see the damage I've done
Sweet lover you, should've come over
Oh love well I'm waiting for you.

Music is a lovely, well-learned homework (to do: listen to some good classic rock, e.g. Dire Straits, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin) with a bluesy vocal melody. Yummy!

Corpus Christi Carol as a remake of old english carol shows more elegiac, spiritual intrests. Oh happy thee if thoust church has singers like Jeff!

But our boy was obviously a rock soul with some punky ideas, so Eternal Life is a thrilling, rocking tune with magnifying  guitar (those cracks!<3) and passionate, aggressive struggle with microphone. I could really love hard rock if it was a bit more like this. A curious fact – someone told Jeff that he can’t sing louder than violin. Well he tried, check result in last minute.

Yet it’s a magnifying Dream Brother that sticks to our hearts most. Sad, very sensual song with a beautiful lyric and amazing musical background (lovely combination of acoustic guitars, harp + hypnotising drums). Last note hanging in the air won’t make you forget it...

... but if you enjoyed that romance, check bonus disc from Legacy Edition as it holds equally amazing songs with an opening perfect Forget Her (that almost made it to standard edition) that shall tear you apart.