Evil Moods - Movie Star Junkies (Voodoo Rhythm)
There should be a law against small record companies punching above their weight. And against brilliant rock’n’roll bands showing up all the mainstream slags as ugly, dull, leaden and tedious beyond belief. Why people listen to radio at all when they have bands like Movie Star Junkies to make their mixtapes steam like kids on the backseat.
Ten songs, 36 minutes. I like that. So I won’t spend too long here, other than to repeat what I’ve said before, Voodoo Rhythm do records and CDs which should fill your collection. And “Evil Moods” is another one you need to have.
“A Promise”, well, I love the music, the clever structure, but Isaia’s vox are mixed too far down. When “Three Times Lost’”starts up with the same thing, I wonder… It’s a hell of a decision for a singer to make, singers are usually somewhat more forthright about their vox…
So it’s a strange, lo-fi approach, but it forces you to pay attention. Like having the radio on in the background, you’re trying to dance and also listen to the lyrics at the same time. I love the brittle, forceful approach Movie Star Junkies have to their guitars, their roots shine through, a sort of roadhouse jukebox surrounded by the deadbeats of five towns … all raising hell.
You get the picture: small town opera described by Kurt Weill, Arto Lindsay and assorted delta bluesmen gone wrong. Well, the lp is called ‘Evil Moods’, and that’s a damn appropriate title. In a way, it’s kinda like a less literary, more r’n’r Nick Cave lp like ‘Murder Ballads’ (but much shorter) … and, instead of Nick, some unknown frustrated boy desperate for release.
“Three Things Lost” and “Please Come Home” seem straight out of a HBO tv series; think Twin Peaks crossed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer … it’s often anguish straight outta the box, blood for pennies, lives taken on nothing but a whim.
Rising is bewitching, more ’60s in style I guess, “leaving all these bones to see/ rising/ leaving all these words to be the one’”… you can imagine Link Wray having written this one, or maybe it’s a Zombies out-take… impressive to say the least. Hell, I even enjoy the way they use the vibes, and you know, that’s not a favourite instrument.
“Jim Thompson” - named for the rather savage hard-boiled writer (who you might want to read; if you like that sort of thing…) - is not actually as good as I’d hoped, unfortunately. Just seems a bit too simple.
‘A Lap Full of Hate’ is much better, coarse and beautiful, rather like the subject matter, which is fucked-up catholic. What do you expect, they’re Italian. Yeah, you can dance to this one, but you’ll get hurt.
“In the Evening Sun” you can imagine being played at a wedding - not. “Please please/ I’m drowning alone/ I’m dying in the evening sun/ crawl crawl”. A stately pace though, shot through with muscular engine noises.
“All Sorts of Misery’”… ‘“or now all is lost/ That’s the end of the King…” Like a train passing through a dying once-industrial town. Elizabeth (uh, South Australia. Where Barnsey came from), for example.
“Red Harvest” swings and curses, the hunter in the medieval fairy tale stomping through the forest in a rage.
“Move Like Two Ghosts’” (Dylan Thomas). You’d be dubious about this. If you hadn’t heard it. Fits right in, the lyrics are a natural fit with the spiky, irritable guitar … which then reaches out like we’re the only hand to grasp in an empty ocean.
Overall, “Evil Moods” is a fine record, and I for one want to see the band live. They’re at worst an intriguing, evil-influence temptation, and at best …
Get this little ripper here: www.voodoorhythm.com