Friday, 24 October 2014

50 songs to take to my grave #19: Car

Darker than a dark thing on a dark night. With your eyes closed. I can't be completely sure how I learned about this record, but I suspect it was probably Single of the Week in NME or something. Whatever, I took a punt and another great decision was made.

Car was the debut single by Come, released in 1991 and their sole release on the legendary Sub Pop label. On first listen it scared me to death, but then I always thought I'd die with a smile on my face. I certainly had one after hearing Car. I played it again.

It's a bruising experience, listening to this song. It bursts into life immediately with the frantic sounds of umpteen fuzzed-up squalling guitars before a masterly drum pattern assembles some sort of order. What we get from that point in is a menacing, brutally raw and loud blues song fuelled on Birthday Party and Swans records with just a touch of the grunge hysteria that was prevalent at the time. 

It wasn't until I started reading about the band that I realised the growly singer was actually female. This was a shock as there is little to give that away on the records. Thalia Zadek's vocals are more genuinely angst-strewn than all those whiny white boys that fronted those American alternative bands the world was going mental for. Maybe Kurt Cobain could have made a case for the defence, but Thalia Zadek would have been remorseless in her cross-examination.  While Kurt constantly moaned about how crap everything was, Zadek would snarl about doing something about it.

"I don't have the patience for this shit," she scowls, and boy does she mean it. "I can't be your victim anymore."

The band subsequently recorded their first album - the bloody good '11:11' - but strangely omitted Car from it, and only a live version appeared on last year's re-issue. It's therefore a rather rare record which makes me even prouder to own it.

Come's debut release is a six-minute endurance test that borders on the terrifying, but repays your efforts several times over. Just expect some scarring and a few bad dreams afterwards.

1 comment:

  1. Can you re-up the single version please?