The signifiers glow like fishermen's lamps bobbing in a fog. The seafaring title. The blurred cover photo of a ship in heavy water.
The signifiers glow like fishermen’s lamps bobbing in a fog. The seafaring title. The blurred cover photo of a ship in heavy water. Where once ocean rain was grandiose, the preserve of the Bunnymen, nowadays it’s an increasingly soggy clichi of American post-rock.
Herein, then, are the predictable ten tracks of desolate, Palace-brand Americana, suffused with minor-key misery, and recorded inside a tin washbucket for the price of a brace of rabbits, no doubt. Only, this time, there’s an unannounced twist or two. Unlike the bulk of po-faced, liquid-mused American bands, Dublin’s Joan Of Arse (Joan, PJ, and, um, Asteroid, by name) are frequently touched by a dark current of humour.
The puns may be dire, but lovely, lurching dirges like ‘You’ll Always Find Me In The Toilet At Parties’ deal as often with queueing alongside OAPs for laxatives in chemists as they do with despair and old dogs. The pure melancholy, meanwhile, is less seaworthy. For every accomplished, wistful canter like ‘The Fusing Of Continental Plates’, there’s a limp, wet rag-like ‘Buried At Sea’ that sinks straight into self-parody. A choppy.