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Arab Strap - The Week Never Starts Round Here

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The Week Never Starts Round Here

Arab Strap

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The Strap's first album continues the initial splash made by the quirky groove of "The First Big Weekend," which is included here with thirteen other songs. Moffat's technique of undersinging/speaking his lyrics at points, combined with the lack of a lyric sheet, does mean that his vaunted dissections of modern relationships aren't necessarily as prominent as the group's most rabid fans would have. They're understandable more often than not, but work better almost as the niggling voice of one's conscience rather than as a prominent lead (though his take on "General Plea to a Girlfriend" is blackly hilarious, words and delivery both). Instead, it's Middleton's arrangements and performances, assisted by other musician friends along the way, which shape the album's balance between late-night rumination and cryptically aggressive power. The overall production brings out a lot of both space and drum punch -- Steve Albini fans, especially those who appreciate his work with Slint, will likely enjoy the results here. "The Clearing," wisely released as a single, is a fantastic combination of everyone's efforts. Moffat's vocals are distorted but still quite clear, his subject matter as dour as legend has it, while a massive drum beat rumbles up from the depths behind a gentle combination of guitar, cello, and particularly lovely piano courtesy of Chris Geddes. Another track where Moffat's performance takes center stage is "The Smell of Outdoor Cooking," perhaps the most existential depiction of an evening barbecue ever, with a slightly queasy organ as the main instrument as drums relentlessly build. "I Work in a Saloon" is a quieter number in comparison to the restrained strength at play elsewhere, soft, crackling drum machines tracks and acoustic guitar supporting Moffat's ponderings. Other flecks of the folk roots of the group crop up on songs like "Little Girls," while "Deeper" concludes Week on a lengthy, low-key note. ~ Ned Raggett

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The Week Never Starts Round Here

Arab Strap

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1
Coming Down 00:03:33

Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - Paul Savage, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

1996 Chemikal underground Records 1996 Chemikal Underground Records

2
The Clearing 00:05:52

Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - Paul Savage, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

1996 Chemikal underground Records 1996 Chemikal Underground Records

3
Driving 00:02:09

Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - Paul Savage, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

1996 Chemikal underground Records 1996 Chemikal Underground Records

4
Gourmet 00:02:39

Paul Savage, Producer, Mixer - Malcolm Middleton, Lyricist - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

1996 Chemikal underground Records 1996 Chemikal Underground Records

5
I Work in a Saloon 00:02:35

Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - Paul Savage, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

1996 Chemikal underground Records 1996 Chemikal Underground Records

6
Wasting 00:03:41

Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - Paul Savage, Producer, Mixer - Malcolm Middleton, Lyricist - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

1996 Chemikal underground Records 1996 Chemikal Underground Records

7
General Plea to a Girlfriend 00:01:42

Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - Paul Savage, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

1996 Chemikal underground Records 1996 Chemikal Underground Records

8
The First Big Weekend 00:04:52

Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - Paul Savage, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

1996 Chemikal underground Records 1996 Chemikal Underground

9
Kate Moss 00:04:47

Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - Paul Savage, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

1996 Chemikal underground Records 1996 Chemikal Underground Records

10
Little Girls 00:02:26

Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - Paul Savage, Producer, Mixer - Malcolm Middleton, Lyricist - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

1996 Chemikal underground Records 1996 Chemikal Underground Records

11
Phone Me Tonight 00:04:28

Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - Paul Savage, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

1996 Chemikal underground Records 1996 Chemikal Underground Records

12
Blood 00:02:53

Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - Paul Savage, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

1996 Chemikal underground Records 1996 Chemikal Underground Records

13
Deeper 00:07:34

Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - Paul Savage, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

1996 Chemikal underground Records 1996 Chemikal Underground Records

Descrizione dell'album

The Strap's first album continues the initial splash made by the quirky groove of "The First Big Weekend," which is included here with thirteen other songs. Moffat's technique of undersinging/speaking his lyrics at points, combined with the lack of a lyric sheet, does mean that his vaunted dissections of modern relationships aren't necessarily as prominent as the group's most rabid fans would have. They're understandable more often than not, but work better almost as the niggling voice of one's conscience rather than as a prominent lead (though his take on "General Plea to a Girlfriend" is blackly hilarious, words and delivery both). Instead, it's Middleton's arrangements and performances, assisted by other musician friends along the way, which shape the album's balance between late-night rumination and cryptically aggressive power. The overall production brings out a lot of both space and drum punch -- Steve Albini fans, especially those who appreciate his work with Slint, will likely enjoy the results here. "The Clearing," wisely released as a single, is a fantastic combination of everyone's efforts. Moffat's vocals are distorted but still quite clear, his subject matter as dour as legend has it, while a massive drum beat rumbles up from the depths behind a gentle combination of guitar, cello, and particularly lovely piano courtesy of Chris Geddes. Another track where Moffat's performance takes center stage is "The Smell of Outdoor Cooking," perhaps the most existential depiction of an evening barbecue ever, with a slightly queasy organ as the main instrument as drums relentlessly build. "I Work in a Saloon" is a quieter number in comparison to the restrained strength at play elsewhere, soft, crackling drum machines tracks and acoustic guitar supporting Moffat's ponderings. Other flecks of the folk roots of the group crop up on songs like "Little Girls," while "Deeper" concludes Week on a lengthy, low-key note. ~ Ned Raggett

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