There are a lot of people out there who are quite happy to go and see a band just the once. The same way they might not re-watch a series or read a favourite book a second time. And I'm alright with that but when a band I like swing back into town I'll try to go every time I can. As such on the 29th of March I went to see Hayseed Dixie for the fourth time at Glasgow's QMU.
I have in my hands a compilation of songs from a band that are reflected perfectly in the cover design. A collage of politics and punk, brightly-coloured and eye-catching, quotes from legendary musicians like Strummer and Guthrie, but most strikingly, emblazoned across the front in large letters, is the idiom “Stop making stupid people famous”. Something I can absolutely agree with 100%, in a world of Jedwards and Biebers multiplying like bacteria on a yoghurt that’s been left out in the baking sun, we need a band like the Media Whores! I’m not saying kill all the stupid people, but let’s remove the warning labels and let the problem take care of itself.
The last track is arguably my fave on the record, I can’t get it out of my head, a mix of amazing soul samples keeping it old school hip hop with an updated oompth. Sage’s lines in this are flawless, and B bounces off him to reciprocate the high-level rapping skill with dexterity. Auris vermis level: 10
‘Stay’ fades in slowly so you’re almost not sure if you heard those first few opening notes, but it builds and unfolds evenly as the song progresses. Again I have to note how impressed I am by the understate nature of these tracks, they just flow seamlessly from one to another throughout the EP and yet each track has its own little thing to say and do.
Opener 2:32am introduces the theme of insomnia, referenced in the title. It begins with static, and the repeating tones and strange countdown of a numbers station, creating a feeling of paranoia, solitude and trepidation. The first beat blasts in over the samples with the assault of first-wave dubstep or lo-fi, underground trap, Meraki’s flow a devastating barrage of triplets, sometimes nasal and imperious, sometimes breathless and anxiety-ridden: “Welcome to the shit show, my life.”
The tone for the track is set from the get go. No need for messing around with turn arounds or fills, the piano and backing vocals are all that's needed. It's almost like Gordon needs his listener to be relaxed to enjoy this song. The piano is very mellow here, it does a great job of outlining the chords while a guitar is finger picked over it. The guitar isn't too sharp in the mix but you can hear it well enough, even in those magical moments when the keys and guitars line up to hit the chords on the same beats. Even the electronic drums contribute to how much of a relaxing experience listening to this track is. They're lower in the mix than a full kit might have been. In a way it's more important that the bass drum is felt rather than heard. It fits well considering the other instruments are being played around each other almost as much as they're being played with each other.
The words "Handsome bastard" are thrown around a lot these days. But Matt Scott is releasing his latest single "Kicking Leaves" on the 30th of November and it's only fair he should be recognised for what he is. So 'mon in and sit with me, let me tell you all about a brand new single from Matt Scott. A musician, a story teller, and a downright handsome bastard.