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The Stylus Police: Love Your Self Abuse

July 24, 2011

It's only fitting that one of the best albums should have one of the best covers. If this is you, call me.

Baby Chaos, the best band that ever there was.

Not that anyone noticed.

This is the album that put me off making music for years, though. I mean, why bother if everything you aspire to has already been done? Because to someone who had overdosed on the soft-loud-soft of Nirvana (and hey, Nirvana are great) and was butting heads with the sneering bombast of Oasis (and hey, Oasis are… Oasis), Baby Chaos’ primary skill — doing intricate, interesting stuff AT VOLUME — seemed like some next level shiz. Because it was.

And it still is. Go on, give Mental Bruising For Beginners a spin. That vocal layering towards the end, it shouldn’t work should it? And yet it sounds phenomenal; And Loud And Clear. That’s a ten minute punk song. If The Fall (and hey, The Fall are Mark E Smith and Mark E Smith is Great) do a ten minute song it means they repeated the exact same thing forty times instead of twenty. Loud And Clear, on the other hand, is an elongated crescendo of ever-increasing complexity that somehow, physics-defyingly, never becomes confused or muddled, each part remaining loud and cl… well, the clue’s in the name. Next. Level. Shiz.

It’s not even that there aren’t any skippers. Weighing in at thirteen tracks, there are bound to be one or two you’re not particularly partial to. It’s just that the majority of the album is so bollock-blazingly, breast-soakingly GLORIOUS that it doesn’t fucking matter. Excellent song-writing, ambitious arrangements, all brought together via superlative production, Love Your Self Abuse is a masterclass in What Guitars Are For and I weep for the uninitiated.


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