Monday, 27 February 2012

Melissa Auf Der Maur - Out Of Our Minds [2010]

I must confess I'm not a big fan of girls in rock. For many years my reaction to them was 'meh', 'well, that's quite ok' or 'I'd sing it better'. Till today in my Top 30 LastFm's you can see only two chicks and three bands that have them from time to time. Surprisingly though, last year brought a couple of great women to me. Meet my newest sweetheart – Melissa Auf Der Maur.

What most girls do in the band? Sing. Not her though. She started career as a basswoman for Hole, toured with The Smashing Pumpkins and led a cover-band singing Black Sabbath... In the meantime she became quite a photographer as well. That's a spirit! But someday, our girl sat down and thought – well, I could enjoy singing at last – so soon she made her super-energetic solo debut, followed by a unique 2010's Out Of Our Minds.

Whereas the debut - Auf Der Maur seems like a rage of a young metalhead girl, Out Of Our Minds is a well-considered grown's woman statement. Instead of screaming in passion, Melissa seduces you with more swinging, old-fashioned melodies, but keeps her favorite low basses and very guitarish basement. Together with an album she released a short movie and a comic book which I really hope to see one day.

I just love The Hunt – it's probably one of the best instrumental intros to rock albums. But it's the bluesy title track that catches your ear first.
If you're listening
You're a dreamer
So come in
Will you take that trip? Will you dive into her mysterious, female world, quite Lynchy at the first sound? I already mentioned though (check out Fever Ray) that women are very moody creatures. There won't be much drifting in 50s', as there is so much more great music in the world! We have to rock into deep, heavy, guitar-fizzing Isis Speaks. Sweet Melissa... this song is a head-cracker, a Niagara of sound! (did I mention she's Canadian?)

A main difference between Melissa's two albums is guitar's composition. Previously a bit annoyingly heavy and noisy, whereas now – intense, but subtle in its heaviness. Veeeery hearable in Lead Horse. It's quite classic for girls to sing mainly about love, but Follow the Map is a story of a boy with a broken heart turned to leather. Oh is it so? Masculine heart breaks into leather? It's a very pleasant tune, filled with grief and regret...

22 Below is a bit of a psychotherapy, beginning very innocently and suddenly releasing sadness in pain.
Fire deep inside,
Spinning us through time,
The heart of the matter,
I hear it getting louder
I can't help but associate these lyrics with splendid movie The Indian Runner ('I want to feel that fire deep inside me... again!')
I'm your healer and... you're mine!

Yeeep. Bass is a really sensual instrument, and so is Melissa's voice. Any other singer performing Meet Me On The Darkside would sound either kitschy or slutty. SHE is gorgeous and super hot while speaking to those low, low, deeeep melody. This can be only followed by instrumental miniature and a duo with Glenn Danzig over Father's Grave. Freaking lucky Melissa, composing with her lifetime idol! In this excitement I can only complain that good The Key is a bit lost before thrilling The One. This song wins a prize for a motivational piece of music during exams. Nope, I didn't sing it to any of my lecturers, still, it was a hell of a headbanging bridge between integrals.

Honestly, I wouldn't need any more songs on this album, but I don't mind happily ironic 1000 Years – it brings a nice wind of change to my sitting dance, moving my hips not arms. Did you ever tried to dance weird combo of rumba, tango and belly dance while typing codes? Try, there'll be no regrets! Same for rocking Mother's Red Box.

This might not be the most detailed piece of recommendation, but drowning in studies as I am and impressed as I feel – I shall be excused. Now go listen!