Sunday, June 24, 2012

Artist Of The Day: Arab Strap

Scottish people are notorious for their dour nature, but Aiden Moffat and Malcolm Middleton took that took that notion to whole new sullen levels. Hailing from Falkirk, the pair began collaborating under the Arab Strap name in 1995, and quickly established themselves as key players in the nation's flourishing indie scene. The contrast with fellow frontrunners such as Teenage Fanclub and Belle & Sebastian could not however have been more sharp. Whilst the former pair largely dealt in upbeat and occasionally twee doses of indie pop, Arab Strap wallowed in the glum, uninviting world of "sadcore," and as questionable as that tag is, it's neigh on impossible to think of a better description. Based overwhelmingly around Moffat's blunt and tortured sexual observations, their pissed-up, lethargic and perennially oppressed music is practically unlistenable in most situations. On a late, drowsy and preferably drunken night, though, there's no beating them, especially if like me you bow to anything bearing an unashamedly broad Scottish accent.

In fairness, the duo did lighten their tone a little before disbanding in 2006, but Moffat's lyrical themes were not to be compromised, effectively casting Arab Strap as the archetypal Scottish miserablists.

Recommended Album

Philophobia's opening lyric is as follows:

"It was the biggest ever cock you'd ever seen, 
but you've no idea where that cock has been. 
You said you were careful 
you never were with me. 
 I heard you did it four times
and jonnies come in packs of three."

You get the picture.


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