Thing of the Day
March 29th 2011
KLAUS KINSKI – Skelington Horse (Ankst) - They told me I’d surely rot in the ground for listening to this too many times, I ain’t digging the ditch though! Skelington Horse mostly seems to be about sticking things in things, sucking things, blood on the bed, things buried in dark ditches and a relentlessly frantic frantic frantic going off (and things). Oh yes, we got a live one here, this really is frantic and eating at our flesh, this is music that’s pecking at our eyes just to see what it might be like to do so, sticking things in our minds just because they can, this is relentlessly good, this is a band who never let up, never mind your rule obeying extreme metal, this is what really pushing it is.
You want some of those last reference point review shortcuts that give you a vague idea of where we are on the musical map? Well how about throwing a manic cocktail of very disturbed Birthday Party, the brain-poking frequencies of Arab On Radar, a hint of the early darkness of Bauhaus, the nailed up for nothing rhetoric of a Bathtime in your face Creaming Jesus, Cardiacs at their most noise-makingly jarring and difficultly hardboiled and manically intense, the shouty angles of The Pop Group if they’d all been serial killers rather than prostitutes, throw it all in there with the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a whole load of Herzog films and some screaming bloody gore and you might be getting somewhere near this glorious frantic frenetic off-hinge noise cocktail that we have here. He can stick it where he wants so he says... Klaus Kinski are from the Welsh darkness of a place called Llanfairfechan, you’ll find on the North Wales coast, although no one ever stops there, one of those places you just pass through. They’re happy to describe themselves as “a five-piece guilt ridden no-wave post punk flamingo with mass delusions of grandeur” – if the Flying Luttenbackers had been from North Wales and ridden with a goth-edged obscession with death, murder, Satanism and quest for depraved flesh then Weasel Walter and company might have turned out a little like this. Klaus Kinski certainly have SkinGraft tones, they’re of that quality (there are surely very few bands in this world you could deem worthy of the SkinGraft Records roster?).
This really is a rather good tantrum of murderous rage, violence, of lungs filling with water and the brief respite of love (albeit for a mythical horse – the Skelington Horse), although he does seem to spend a good part of this ‘love’ song declaring a wish, or was it a need, to “ride your bones”. Caesar is a roll call of the more notorious ‘celebrity’ killers – Brady, Bundy, Gacy, Neilson and such, an onslaught of a song that has them “breathing the same air as Julius Caesar’s treacherous ancient killers”, while Happiness Happiness is once again on to the subject of sticking things in things, we’re not clear if this is to do with sex, violence, murder or indeed all three – we, quite reasonably under the circumstances, suspect all three. And no, you don’t want to be caught doing that at the witchtrials – we are all going to pay for our sins… Notions of pulling out your own teeth so you can’t eat yourself, grey roomed ugliness and reading the same books too many times.
Klaus Kinski are a band who really take it to the extremes, without ever degrading it all and making it too hard-boiled and awkward. These intense post-punk new wave songs are very much that: songs. This isn’t a case of extreme noise that wants to challenge you to get to the end, this is an album that very much invites you to go with it, to go with the voyeuristic ugliness of life, to get up close and swim in the underbelly of it all; this is a thrilling musical bludgeoning, invigorating, refreshing, unstable, verging on the psychotic, a band very much alive and for the now while almost everyone is busy rehashing their record collection and celebrating music we’ve already heard. At last, a band who want to do a little more than rehash yesterday’s riff yet again.
Brilliant album, disturbingly
good, go on, grab hold if it and stick it right in (your CD player),
you know it isn’t something to publicly admit to, but you know you
really want to stick it in, curiosity has got the better of you now
hasn’t it… Klaus Kinski are clearly a band wanting and willing to give
everything, go grab a slice, highly recommended.
Skellington Horse gets a full UK release on April 18th