Secret Album 4


A single snare beat in its spring reverb halo hits and the whole world comes tumbling in. A waterfall of wires, a mass of roots seeking something in the soil. He is callous, weary and unforgiving, a bitter agent sent here to do somebody’s dirty work. He is here to give the folk some news: You’re nothing, so rot in hell.

 

He sings across the sky like a heretic in a minaret. The band can barely contain the anarchy, they talk over one another like a table of drunks. They fight like cats to break through the jungle of sirens in the sound. The voice weaves between them like a rope of disgust in a barrel of snakes. Whistles blow, absurd postcards are thrown in your face. You are hustled down hallways and dragged into doors to be presented with the grotesque like specimens in a gallery of the damned. Laughter and disdain line these corridors like leaking arsenic. You cringe through the black racket like a mendicant sent through the sewers of Rome.

 

There is a tone of malevolence and spite. Noises perilously close to beauty assail you like wailing birds of prey and wheel away. The organist is insane, the drummer is on Dexedrine, the piano player needs serious help. Words, in waves, worm into your mind. What is this world we are wandering through – whose nightmares are so wantonly filled with loathing?

 

The visions are relentless and the stories strange. The cast list must be twenty pages long. Cops, farmers, hipsters and debutantes flow by on freight trains, stagecoaches or in limousines. From the city to the empty country, everybody is cursed. The crossroads are crowded with ghosts and from the great cliffs of New York fools somersault onto the sidewalks. There is stale smoke in the room and stale conversation. Everyone’s eyes are nicotine yellow and they look abominably bored.

 

All the hatred turns to sadness. His voice begins to betray signs of pity. Don’t we all have a human heart? A corner is turned and, holy cow, the whole world is arrayed under the sun like a map of desperation. The entire cast returns for one last curtain call. They look like rats drunk on abundance, gone crazy in some inexplicable new¬† freedom. God’s eye is ceaseless and appalled. The universe is teeming with headless souls and overrun by stupidity. The sun pours down on your pointless labour, your loves and your witless engagement with life. God laughs, takes a last look and slams the door.