When I first bought S&B’s ’Songs’, and listened to it (many?) times before the penny dropped that I’d been relishing songs about untimely death and blue, bloody murder in many different guises, I described it ’Cathartic’. Why, after all, go and see King Lear? Processing violence and tragedy is part of being human.
After a couple of listens through of Matachin, I think I’ll reach for the same word. Grues and scariness all over it! Cholera Camp, Widow’s Curse, Bruton Town might all have had me cowering behind the sofa. I liked it all better the second time through, when I’d tuned into that feeling. Cholera Camp is just sensational, but you have to be ready for it, I feel, which I was second time around. I do so love them for joining in the movement to rehabilitate Kipling as a thinking man!
As for the Widow’s Curse, I’m filing that with Banks of Green Willow under songs that are stunningly beautiful, but almost unbearable to listen to. It’s the baby thing .....
I love ’I drew my ship’, as it means a lot to me, having learnt to sing an art-song version of it, and falling completely in love with it. This has some variations on the one I know, but all for the better.
I’ve seen it said and thoroughly agree that this is Bellowhead moving into a different, more varied sound and style, with the personal stamp of more of the band members on it. They demand (even) more from the listener here than on Burlesque, which will make this a keeper.