20 for ’15 -Cloakroom – Outta Spite

Part 14 of a 20 part rundown of my favourite tracks of 2015

I wrote about these guys briefly in Wanton Miscellany #2, saying that their record Further Out was so unassuming it had almost passed me by. It took some time but it eventually worked it’s way to being one of my favourites of 2015. I changed my mind again after that – fickle beast that I am – possibly due to an unforeseen period of relative serenity and borderline happiness. It became a bit like a perennially bummed out friend – sure you love them but when you’re on top of the world it can feel like a drag to spend time in their company. With friends you’ll do so all the same (unless you’re a really shitty friend) but records are easy to ignore. They just sit there until you need them next.

Before I knew it I was back to being slumped in an office chair with nothing but an endless sea of tedium around me and a window full of gray sky in lieu of any kind of view. It felt good to welcome Further Out back into my life then. Doyle Martin’s voice sounds oddly comforting when you’re down – it’s like having the lazy, drawled moan of depression itself serenading you. Whether the lyrics are angry or sad, sarcastic or earnest they’re all delivered in the same pitch. It brings to mind a Jets to Brazil line from one of my all time favourite songs: “some make exhaustion a mode of expression.” In Outta Spite the line, “Assign meaning to your ritual..” manages to sound like both a decent piece of self-help advice and a biting indictment of the pointlessness of your routine, particularly when it drifts through your headphones at the precise moment you drop your work bag in the same spot you do every day. 5pm, near enough on the dot. Kettle on, start dinner. Disintegrate into daydream and muscle memory like sugar in water. “..and slay any beast.” Yeah, sure.

Oh, and that guitar tone. You could take a bath in that fuzz and come out cleansed.

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