Everyone goes home comforted...
It’s a dank, hungover Sunday night in Dublin. The spectral sounds of [a]Ennio Morricone[/a] whistle from the Music Centre‘s speaker system. An imaginary ball of tumbleweed blows across the stage as New York‘s Blonde Redhead prepare for their Irish debut under an ominous atmosphere. Someone over my shoulder comments on how there aren’t enough girls in bands these days. Probably what he really means is that there aren’t enough foxy girls in bands these days. I listen for someone to mention the lack of identical Italian twins in bands these days. But no-one does. Blonde Redhead – identical Italian twins Simone and Amedeo Pace and foxy Japanese girl Kazu Makino – tentatively slide into their stride.
Tonight, those of the audience harbouring ideas of some noisy pupils of Sonic Youth or Arto Lindsay‘s no-wavers DNA (from whom they appropriated the song title Blonde Redhead as their moniker), will have their preconceptions shattered. Sure, they boast a similarly fractured approach to rock as their New York forefathers, but this far from a studied sound, but a global mish-mash imbued both dissonant post-punk and cinematic pop.
If anything, Blonde Redhead‘s key component is melody, particularly on the songs of their recently released fourth album ‘Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons’. ‘In Particular’, with its fluttering ‘Marquee Moon’– style signature, click-clack rhythms and Kazu‘s gently piercing soprano, is a fine example. As is Amedeo‘s ‘Loved Despite of Great Faults’, a melancholic waltz that sweeps into a compelling, emotionally-strained chorus. And ‘This Is Not’, with its bizarre synth and regimental drum accompaniment, owes a certain something to ’60s chanteuse, as Kazu coos a cool [I]”la, la, la”[/I].
And by the end of it all, the foxy Japanese girl is shaking her hips and the identical Italian twins are beaming. And everyone goes home comforted in the knowledge that Blonde Redhead triumphed over a dank Sunday night in Dublin.