Share SICK OF LOVE - J.C. Satan (Slovenly Recordings)
According to the hastily photocopied press release, this (and I quote) "soon to be classic" LP is Slovenly Recordings' 100th release. Given the (ahem) highly commercial nature of the material on offer here, Slovenly Recordings is either a labour of love by a wacked-out millionaire philanthropist or one of the world's largest tax write-down schemes. Whatever the case, I want my place aboard this particular gravy train. I want my piece of the pie. I sense a plan coming on. Maybe the best way to score a recording contract with this easily-pleased organisation would be to give this disc a fabulous and unwarranted wild review. The trouble is, the disc itself is about as sane as walking naked into your local police station whilst carrying nothing besides a cheesecloth bag full of fermented bat urine. Clearly, as discretion may be the highest form of valour, I must choose my words carefully.

Fuck that.

Extravagant claims are laid by the record company, comparing J.C. Satan to Can, The Beatles, Pink Floyd and the Jesus and Mary Chain. Whilst not arguing the nature of the thematic borrowings employed here, I might perhaps raise issue with the originality and quality of their execution. Would I offer this as evidence for the negative in the case of the Devil owning the best tunes? Well, M'lud. The Dark Lord has issued a statement denying any involvement what-so-ever with this band. Recently, Lucifer was heard to say: "Just because they carve 666 on their bellies and wear pentagrams, doesn't mean I have to listen to this stuff, does it? Surely I was punished enough by the whole fall from grace thing. Have mercy, lord."

Personally, if you want me to tell you what I think J.C. Satan sound like, I would point my finger at a pumped up, low-rent and badly recorded version of the Brian Jonestown Massacre. The thing is, you put a Brian Jonestown disc on and it kind of hypnotises you into playing it again. The Satans never quite raise you to that level of interest. They lack that surprise element of joy. The disc starts off well enough with "Odyssey of Love" and "Prehistoric Love" but by about track six, the casual listener will be pretty much "Sick of Love".

J.C. Satan are a mixed gender band of French and Italian musicians. They claim to write songs about morning-after-sex-in-a-drug-haze. It has always been my experience that morning after sex in a drug haze does involve a little more vim and vigour than what I'm hearing here. Legend dictates that "if it's not stiff it ain't worth a fuck" but this band sounds like they can't be bothered getting it up for this or any occasion. Possibly because it's touted as their 100th record release. On a positive note, you can listen to this disc without throwing your boot at the CD player. It doesn't offend in the way a really bad record does. It just doesn't call attention to itself in a pleasant way. You certainly won't catch yourself whistling the tunes as you walk down the street. If you listen to them on Myspace, you won't feel the sudden overwhelming urge to track them down on Amazon.

I'm not going to tell you that this band is crap. It's just half way through you'll find yourself forgetting you are listening to a record and you will wander off to do something useful like wash your socks. I'm not going to summon a demon from the deepest pit of hell to chase their shades between the worlds to punish them for their crimes against popular music either. Frankly, they are not interesting enough. One might say I'm damning this band with faint praise but - in truth - I am yet to praise them at all and that is quite unfair. Some of this disc is quite pretty but its delivery just doesn't live up to its vision. Despite an ear for a melody, the composition is two dimensional. If, for example, they really wished to invoke an emotional response, they could try using more than a progression of two chords. Given the influences they sight, they should be able to trip over a chorus and recognise what it is. If they are going to compare their melodies to the Beatles' "Abbey Road", they should at least demonstrate a basic understanding of song writing.

Oh bugger. I was trying so hard to write a pleasant review. Perhaps, without the record company's ridiculous hype, I would have come off as kinder. I might have said J.C. Satan are a melodic noise band from Europe. Their album is listenable but unexceptional. I wouldn't fork out cash money for it but it's likeable enough in its poppy noisy way. I know. I'll give them three and a half bottles and say "Better luck next time, kids. Here's a couple of Euros. Go buy yourselves a middle eight." - Bob Short




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