Here’s an unexpected collaboration. After buying one of Luke Haines’ paintings online of Lou Reed, Peter Buck made contact and some form of musical bond was formed. Life can be wonderfully strange. So, here we are, in the unique mind of Luke Haines. I’d be interested to know the level of Buck’s contribution, not that I doubt it, rather, this sounds like pure Haines subject matter and style.
While every album is different, you know it’s him. This is partly the voice and presence, but also the choice of subjects. So, a not exactly concept-album, which references; the rocket scientist and occultist, Jack Parsons, who came to a spectacular end; post-apocalypse radio which only plays Donovan; Bigfoot; the Enfield Haunting and Andy Warhol.
For better or worse, my review is in the form of my list of notes for each song. As a tribute, and because, frankly, if you don’t know Luke Haines yet, it’s probably too late. So…
‘Jack Parsons’; rocket science/occultist, Crowley/Thelemite, recorders, L. Ron Hubbard, dreamy melody, interview segments remind me of B.A.D.
‘Apocalypse Beach’; post-apocalypse Donovan only radio station, Leach/beach, acoustic strum.
‘Last Of The Legendary Bigfoot Hunters’; tabla intro, fuzz guitar, groovy, “cover me in feathers, like dead Liberace”.
‘Beat Poetry For The Survivalist’; homemade transistor wireless, lists, “heavy Zen and a record by KISS”.
‘Witch Tariff’; Enfield Hauntings, “all the bad cats know where it’s at”, ouija contact Johnny Ray, Billy Fury, “if you wanna be a legend you gotta break a few legs”.
‘Andy Warhol Was Not Kind’; glam beat, “we come in peace from Finsbury Park”.
‘French Man Glam Gang’; sleazy, electro-glam pulse, la discotheque, like Human League Glitter cover.
‘Ugly Dude Blues’; as it says, harmonica, RECORDER!,
‘Bobby’s Wild Years’; Cramps intro, angular/Ants verse, “everyone’s a genius in varying degrees”.
‘Rock N Roll Ambulance’; “hey, hey, hey”, get on board the rock n roll hearse, “our last hit-the closest to a hook that we’re ever gonna get”.
I can say this; if you don’t like recorders, don’t buy this album! But, if you’ve ever bought a Luke Haines album, you should buy this one. Righteous.
Buy ‘Beat Poetry For Survivalists’ Here
Author: Martin Chamarette