Top 10 Albums of 2011 - 3
3 - The Victorian English Gentlemens Club - Bag of Meat
Are you interested in a card trick with a chimp?
If the Raveonettes are becoming a treasure through steadily altering and honing their focus, then the Victorian English Gents Club are surely royalty by now. This is their third album, and probably their best, although frankly it’s hard to say exactly - at each turn they veer wildly around, a casual reinvention. Every time I see them live (and that’s not often enough), they present a totally different wild-eyed proposition. But they offer comfort; they’re surrealists with a total command of pop melody. They always will be.
And that’s where the VEGC win. Above all, it’s just pop music. Pop music with the bonkers wailing of Delta 5, or Mclusky, or the Pixies, or Adam Taylor’s signature Mark E-Smith yelping, yeah, sure. Nonetheless, the VEGC are almost impossible to categorise. Fall comparisons are always apt, but only because both bands are bold as brass and in a continual state of flux and torment. It’s easy enough to overlook them, but the Gents Club are veterans at this game now. Only veterans could make something as stubbornly grooveful as A Conversation, as relentlessly catchy as Fire In The Wife, and just as downright insane as Card Trick With A Chimp, and weave it all together into a signature whole; dismissing all plebeian opinion and doing what they know is right.
There is great soul and heart in Bag Of Meat. The Gents are a rare band, to be savoured, and oft capable of inspiring pure despair in unprepared and startled virgins. This record was sinfully overlooked; shame on you. Shame on you fucking all.