This is another of those unfinished posts, the video clip for Rattle’s new-ish split single with Xylouris White on God Unknown records. It’s their usual telepathic, wonkily melodic drumming goodness. Part of the reason this post never got written is that it appeared the same week as Childish Gambino’s ‘This Is America’ and a stately, largely slo-mo clip of joggers along the banks of the river Trent and love locks on Wilford suspension bridge just didn’t seem to hold the same densely packed cultural fascination. If I had the energy I’d be attempted to tease out a deconstructive reading of its own buried symbolism. The dark whirl of compulsions that fuel the desire to run needlessly, the lock’s need to give symbolic form to emotion, the contrast between Nottingham and Paris, and the bridge itself, an Edwardian aqueduct. There’s something inherently odd about a bridge that carries water across a river don’t you think? Plenty to chew on, not that there’s necessarily any real relation. The location is more likely merely convenient, the thin thread of repeating lyrical phrases “harder they come” and “rolling off the tongue” don’t offer much either. Just as well.
The second reason is I recently saw Rattle play live again, supporting Protomartyr, and I also vaguely considered reviewing that. So here you go – Rattle were as great as ever – hypnotic and surprising. Protomartyr singularly failed to solve the riddle of their existence for me. I quite like them, but I forget about them and from time to time I hear them and think, ‘that’s pretty good’. And so, they were pretty good. Not terrible or hateful but not a revelation that opened the key to their musical charms either. Just there. Stodgy, midwestern, earnest and inoffensive. The singer pulls a successive string of beers from his jacket and mumbles. They think they’re Guided By Voices but they’re really The Hold Steady. I bet they worship The Replacements. Weirdly, even with a stray stage light shining in my damn face their charmlessness failed to annoy me. I still kind of like them. But I’m not going to live forever. I probably don’t have time for this.
here’s a nice shot of the bridge from George Carless photography