ANNA SECRET POET – ‘TITS OF STEEL’ Album Review - C. T. Herron

Anna Secret Poet is the brainchild of Gary Ward (Well Happy Band) she describes herself as a drag poet, cake-toucher, and overthinker. Through running into her once or twice at the NHC shop I have here her album to review. Confused? Good. I pour a cider, light a joint and slide it into the disk tray, expecting a spoken word/poetry/acoustic album…

It starts off with a spoken word intro, ‘Let me take a paper and write of forests, leafy memories of varied significance, the purged sanctuaries and sacred hollows, naked and exposed’. And as Anna is a poet, I think the album’s gonna’ be all (vagina) monologue, so I’m pleasantly surprised when a very Devo-esque beat kicks in immediately. And then, what the hell’s this? An expertly played and very excellent electric guitar solo serenades my ears! Heavy, grungy, distorted, things are never what they seem, and Anna Secret Poet is testament to that!

The awesome post-punk/metal/garage/grunge vocs of the opening title track are perfect, perfect to grab your attention, make you listen to the lyrics and send chills down your spine like creeping tendrils. You’re twisting my melon man! How can you not love this, “Apparently I’ve got tits of steel and if you don’t believe me have a feel”! Complete with a punk guitar solo worthy of Eric Melvin! Then it kicks into psychedelic metal and I realise pretty quickly Anna is about to take me on a crazy audio journey! So I strap myself in…

anna-tos-back-text1.jpg

Fast-paced acoustic intro for second song ‘My Ideal Song’. Wonderful, eccentric harmonies but with an unashamedly Scottish accent, which I like. Heavy and ballsy, but Anna’s is a literal case of nevermind the bollocks!

Proper fucking punk on ‘Eyebrows’, heavy enough to make Crass blush! Who knew ‘Tits of Steel’ would be the punkest album I’d review this year!? Punk that cascades wantonly into huge sheets of heavy metal that vibrate and thrum like a thunderstorm in my cranium, lighting up my neuro-receptors like the dashboard of some alien spaceship. Total magnificent beautiful chaos, oh, and eyebrows…

‘I Don’t Know Any Funny Songs’ ironically, as you might have guessed, is a slice of comedy to even out the insanity with a raised smile, a wink and a nudge. With talk of necrophilia and bestiality the song ends with ‘I probably should end it there cos’ I’ve run out of steam, and I’ve strayed too far from my initial theme’. Brilliant.

And what’s this? Electronic music now? Wait, hold on, I recognise that, that’s the theme of the greatest story ever told, Star Wars… Oh yeah, the song’s called ‘Star Wars Pants’. John Williams is getting bastardised and Anna makes no apologies, oh wait, she does, right there on the backsleeve, maybe I should read these things before I review them… Blasters are cleverly incorporated into the industrial electro beat here, and there are plenty of esoteric Star Wars references to keep a fan on their toes.

Have we illegally hopped the border of enough genre boundaries yet? No we fucking haven’t! Let’s do some reggae… Yassss! Officially cod reggae, ‘Bog Standard’ is a lament of lavatories I can relate to. Psychedelic prog reggae, nice! With Jaya The Cat-like kick-ins! I love it! The amount of exclamation marks I’ve used already in this article is indicative of how much I like this album!!

‘Anna En Francais’ is a pretty witty ditty of gritty pity, sung in Glasgow city from a kitty with an iron clitty and a steel titty… Whoa! I dunno’ what came over me there!? Moving swiftly on…

I wish I was French but I’m Scottish instead, just like Loic Monerat.

‘Why Won’t Cheerleaders Come Near Me’ is a hilarious acoustic comedy song with post-modern references and some brilliant lyrics that I don’t even wanna’ spoil for you cos’ you need to hear them for yourself to believe them, go out and see Anna live or buy the album at the NHC shop, every track is worth its weight in satire. A wordsmith let loose with all the genres at her disposal and she’s wielding them like a tommy gun.

Fucking shit up again with ‘Apple or Ape’, wonderful punk-rock comedy that puts me very much in mind of the Vandals in its attitude and deliverance. Magic. And more skilled punk guitar solos that get me very excited! This album has the perfect mix of everything you could ever want from a record all rolled up into one nice wee bundle! You should definitely purchase it, I highly recommend it.

As track ten draws close I actually feel a pang of regret that I’ve only got two songs to go, that, and the fact it’s already inspired me to write a thousand words on the subject is two marks of a truly great album. This record just jumped right into my top 5 of the last year, just screeching in at the finish line with only one month left to go in this foul year of our lord two thousand and seventeen.

Tenth track ‘Catch The Tiger’ is another slice of random mayhem laced together and tightened like a corset with genuinely funny lyrics, genius is a word that springs to mind towards the end of this musical session, which really has been a blast!

Just in case you thought she wasn’t gonna’ pillage any more genres Anna slides in smoothly at the end with some quality funk in ‘Let’s Get Horizontal’. And this artist just exploded into position as one of my favourite local acts. Glaswegian-transgender-dysmorphia-blues at their finest, except not blues, cos’ it’s actually a really happy album that’ll make you smile, so more like ska, but without the ska, and who needs fucking ska when you’ve got these kick-ass prog-rock breakdowns like the one that’s blowing my mind right now in the outro of ‘Let’s Get Horizontal’.

Rounding it off nicely by coming full circle (pit), we have a devo-esque offering for the last track too, ‘Plastic Posioning’. Sinister, industrial, and rocking! This album has left me stunned. Take it with a pinch of salt and you’ll find one of the best records you’ll listen to this year from the Glasgow circuit. Wow. I’m gonna’ need a fucking lie down after that… Okay, one more listen first… ‘I’ve got steel titties, and they’ll leave you weak at the knees, make you say thank you and please…’

Things are never what they seem.

Seeya’ in the Pit

CTH (NHC GONZO DIV.)

https://www.facebook.com/annasecretpoet/