Sympathetic Stupid

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

TISM Top Ten: Thoughts on the Candidates I

Defecate On My Face

There's trouble brewing in the Warsaw Pact, so hurry up Eva and move your intestinal tract.

I've never owned this on an album, only stolen the mp3 back in the days when Napster was alive and file-sharing was innocent. The music? Hand claps and an eighties synth arpeggio at the start, leading into a good disco track. The lyrics? It's a big idea; what was Hitler's sexual preference? That's right, coprophilia (never thought I'd get to use that word). Not sure where this fits into the full Freudian analysis, but it seems plausible to me.

It was a single, and with good reason. Has a very good chance of making the final list.

Special mention to the Country Version. Funny in a pre-semi-post-anti-ironic sort of way but doesn't hold a candle to the original.

Mistah Eliot - He Wanker

TS Eliot thinks he's famous because he's a genius.
Well don't you know I'm ambivalent about the modernist achievement.

Likely to go down in history as the best vitriol ever directed at a Nobel Prize-winning poet in New Romantic song form. This is an early appearance of TISM's intense hatred for celebrity, genius, success. You can feel it in pervading every piece of Ron's body as he screams 'you can be quoted in Heart of Darkness, Mr Eliot'.

Unlikely to make the final list; the music doesn't stand up that well, and the lyrics are a little too obscure. Still, it makes me feel clever when I listen to it.

The Back Upon Which Jezza Jumped

And so all you men of small ability and mediocre skill,
All those of you who, in the race of life, are left standing still;
Those who must always know others are unquestionably better -
The second class, the also ran, the unsuccessful go-getter;
All of you huge race of men with mind or body dismembered
Never forget the name of the man who will never be remembered;
And beware!, all who have hopes of happiness you pathetically nurture,
Lest you forget the back upon which Jezza jumped, the giant Graeme "Jerker".

This track is really just a backdrop for a spoken word Ron diatribe. But the music works well, and it's a great diatribe. This track introduces another of TISM's favourite themes; the human condition. You're not going to be happy, someone's always better off, you're only on earth to provide a foil, a kind of comic relief for other people, more successful, happier.

The production lets this track down; the vocals sound a little like they were recorded in the toilet. But other than that it holds up well. A good outsider for the final list.

Death Death Death (Amway Amway Amway)

The last track was simply a platform for the vocals. Death Death Death is pure fun. The recording on Gentlemen, Start Your Egos, recorded live, starts with 'The Massed Pipes of TISM'. What a gig that would have been. Then it kicks into the groove, driving drums, random percussion, vaguely competent guitar. Meaningless vocals. In concert, it goes nuts. Even in the lounge, with the volume turned up to eleven, the energy of the track shines through. This is the future of TISM; a flash-forward to Machiavelli.

Another single, and another very strong track. Keep safe.