Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Good Ship Rediscovery: Archie Bronson Outfit - Fur

We all forget about the older stuff from time to time, in our quest to stay up to speed with the latest and greatest. But one should always respect their elders. So don’t forget about them, y’hear?

Sometimes, as I'm sure you know, there's nothing that quite hits the spot like a raunchy little blue flame of a rock record. And from the beginning to the very end, my beloved Archie Bronson Outfit's debut Fur is nothing if not good old raunch and roll. This is a record that follows in the grand old English tradition of American blues worship, paying homage to the Delta with wailing guitars and a pervading sense of bad behavior. When first I heard this record, I was in love with its sheer, unflinching badness. The scuzz was overpowering, the wickedness palpable. And I've never been the same since.

Somehow, these three English boys made an album that sounds more bayou backwoods stomp than Londoninium-landed. Dedicated "to the girls thath Broketh our hearts," Fur is alive with sweat and booze and penetrating stares, pulsating with inebriation and lust and all manner of things. Opening track "Butterflies" throws chunky guitar riffs at you, along with some grasping, throaty vocals inclined to crackle with ardor. The heft returns in "Islands," a sonic snarl that chugs along, filling the air with smoke and frenzy. "Riders" is filled with langour and heat, and the proclamation, "We'll ride to the end of the earth." Damned if I don't believe it.

"Bloodheat" is a favorite amongst favorites, building from a slow, labored plod to an ever-increasing build of triumphant tremendousness. "Armour For a Broken Heart" to me comes across as a slightly-less unhinged Immortal Lee County Killers, frenzied and rolling along in fierce, defiant aggression. "Kangaroo Heart" takes things even further into the bawdy depths of darkness, instruments crashing down in hailstorms and plaintive, anguished vocals ("I've run out of words to give you/I've run out of things to say/my heart still beats towards you"). The glorious "Pompeii" closes up shop, but not before the Bronsons get one last hook in. A hypnotic, repetitive riff will draw you in, and the slow burn of the build will reel you in as things get slowly louder, slowly bolder.

Good goddammit, friends, Fur is magnificent. Sometimes I forget, but once more I remember...if this one's not in your collection, make it so. I'll always love the Bronsons and all of their records, but I'm going to say my heart will forever belong to Fur.

m4a: Butterflies (Archie Bronson Outfit from Fur)

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