When I don’t have propulsion, or the happiness to generate it, I kind of need winding up. ‘Fear and Loathing…’ starts with the kind of broken chords that Conor Oberst finds delightful, the sound of a guitar not so much gently weeping as sobbing its gutted heart out. The vocal line is just as cracked, Eric Harm wailing into the mic with all the confessional sadness of a former lover to someone whose love cracks and damages the foundations of his very soul. It’s wallowing taken to an extreme not felt since I first played Unknown Pleasures.
Until the first step change, when you, Eric and a choir of all of your nearest and dearest yell “FUCK! YOU!” and the room takes flight.
By god the track stomps. From here in the rage really takes over, driving all that (arguably) misplaced emotion into something unstable and destructive, something so beautiful it can’t help but leave you wanting to Break Some Things to make you Feel Better. Best of all you’ll do it with the support and sound and fury of all assembled, who won’t stand for the the pain others bring you. It’s a song for gangs, all the groups and posses, all the crews the world over.
Turn by turn the band get to shine, as the songs crashes to a momentary halt. The lead guitar steps into play delivering a seemingly endless riff around which everyone else tilts, rumbling onwards with the kind of momentum that Gets Shit Done. It’s sound-as-jetpack, and a beautiful thing.
On this, we hear Aaron The Moor’s speech from Titus Andronicus, and lo – we wish to be villains.