Is there joy in the avant-garde? Is there joy in the avant-garde when said avant-garde musical adventures seem powered by a post punk synthesis of angst and despair? The answer, my friends, is probably not but torment has often escaped the shadows of the musical marginal before. Stockhausen and (early) Joy Division have done it so why not Roseanne Barrr?
The torment of having to do things that you don’t want to you powers this nihilistic investigation of the underside of the human condition. Angular attack on the conventions that we all accept, even unknowingly, stagger out of the speakers as if possessed of a desire simply to escape rather than to impress and entertain. “Thief’s Journal” spirals almost of rhythmic control before simply stopping as if someone had pulled the trigger. Similarly, with no more than a pause for sociopathic reflection in “Prayer”, “Feed Me” takes a deep dive into torment. Well, it might seem like a deep dive until the concentrated frustration of “Skinned Rabbit” puts that into perspective and launches an aural assault you are unlikely to forget.
With a smile still to be seen, crumbling insecurity then pervades “That’s The Way Boys Are”. The only way up is down or so it would seem and, as a guitar disassembles chords, the world falls apart in parallel.
Whilst Roseanne Barrr might well have The Samaritans on speed dial, they are still positively inspirational in a world polluted by mundane indie rock and transient Saturday night superstars. Avant-garde is the way to go, especially on pink vinyl.