Life Just Bounces don't you get worried at all. (A weblog of music and otrogenerica)

Monday, 22 November 2010

Song of the day: #23 Prolapse – "Deanshanger"

Do you remember the 1980s?
I was there too...

Tory government, strikes, riots in the street, papal visit and now a Royal wedding to boot. Yep, at the moment, comparisons of the 2010s to the 1980s are just serving to confirm the cliché that clichés are clichés because they're true, in that they're both clichéd and true.

With that in mind, a revival of Prolapse's 1997 not-quite-anthem "Deanshanger" might well be in order. Formed "under a table" at the University of Leicester student union, Prolapse stated their intention of becoming "the most depressing band ever" and set about the task by mashing up krautrock rhythms, punk rock and massive swathes of brutalised grey shoegaze feedback, topped off by twin vocalists "Scottish" Mick Derrick (psychotic, Glaswegian) and Linda Steelyard (sarcastic, deadpan, English Rose) enacting fearsome psychodramas over the top.

The music... was crap
The claise1... were crap
The hair... was crap
Everything... was crap

Opening with a blast of haze before a rhythm section like a wired descendent of "Yoo Doo Right" kicks in, layered with snaking guitar lines and – yes! – bagpipes, "Deanshanger"2 then lays out a laundry list of grievances against the '80s, from a time approximately equidistant from their end and their 21st-century revival. The Royal Wedding "wasnae worth the paper it was written on". The papal visit "promised much but didn't deliver" (i'm always amused/baffled by this bit: just what were you expecting, Mick?)

Meanwhile, Steelyard (now a reporter for the Leicester Mercury) enacts the part of someone "trapped in a room" and fruitlessly trying to work out how to escape ("even if I could build a door, I couldn't reach the wood because my feet are strapped to the floor"), the wall of noise around her voice isolating her even further, her tone resigned. By the end she has given over to Stockholm syndrome ("well I feel quite at home here now...")

"I'm glad it's all over, wrapped up in a box and put under the bed," proclaims Derrick at the song's conclusion, but the circling spiral of drums and feedback loops after he's finished seem almost to acknowledge that it's not over, it's never over, and no matter how hard you shout it's only a matter of time before it's all back again.

mp3: Prolapse – "Deanshanger" [YSI]

1 Whoever reviewed this in the NME at the time had never heard the word "claise", and proceeded to make a right tit of themselves when their quip about Prolapse condemning the "theatrical productions" of the 1980s rather undermined their knowing-condescension schtick.
2 Lord knows, what, if any, connection all this has with the Northamptonshire village of Deanshanger.

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