Melody Maker, 25/4/1998
Truth, Dingwall's, London
(picture of Andy, with caption "Unbelievably duff". Haw haw)
People keep mentioning Crowded House in respectful tones. Fuckin' hypocrites.
They're the same sort of people who'd have hitherto abhorred such MOR
influences, but who - now blinded by the Damascus light of a five-lettered
surname which rhymes with dork - welcome them like they're a standard-setting
Andy is draining his heart for us, impaling himself on every shredded emotion -
and yet we know and care fuck all about him. He reveals *absolutely nothing*.
When Richard Ashcroft sang "I need some sounds to recognise the pain in me,
yeah" did so many fucking groups have to volunteer?
"Solved" has as much of a chorus as a funeral has confetti (and, Hell's bells,
it's the next single!), "Higher Than Reason" is less tuneful than the monotone
bleep on a failed life-support machine. People dance unwillingly, moving their
bodies with all the inelegant stiffness you feel when shagging someone you've
ceased to fancy.
During "Tyre Tracks" Andy leans towards the mic hesitantly, scared of making
too potent a gesture, like a nervous 13-year-old boy who doesn't know what to
do with his hands snogging a girl for the first time. "Leave a stone around
my neck", he bemoans. Gladly. Granite heavy enough for you?
What irritates most is the loathsome introspection that insists we share their
misguided faith in podgy minimalism and acoustic delicacy. He's memorised the
Highway Code of rock angst: screwed-up face = existential torture, eyelids shut
tight = intolerable pain. The reverance stinks like an unwashed skunk with
dreadlocks. By not clapping, cowering disdainfully in the corner, I feel like
I'm wanking during Holy Communion. With the abundant wealth of pop on their
doorstep, they choose to scrimp and save. The cheques of their imagination
forever bouncing. Cut open their brains and moths would fly out.
With so many supernovas still spinning madly, don't fall into this black hole.
Don't let this fungus grow over your youth.
(thanks to Gary)