Sunday, 29 July 2007

The Jub-Jub Bird

Another literary title that this time pertains a lot more obviously to the song than in the case of "Nae Hair On't". Lewis Carroll's Jub-Jub Bird is 'a desperate bird' that 'lives in perpetual passion' and desperation and passion neatly sums up the themes of its namesake song.

From the muffled roar that opens to the juddering bassline that shakes through the louder passages and the chaotic mid-section where the Jabberwocky makes its most obvious appearance, its about as forceful a song as they've ever recorded. Even when offering a breather from this in its quieter sections, there's a looming dread and the lyrics constantly allude to a similar feverish intensity, passion always couched in terms of madness and loss of control - 'whenever I hear your name, a mist comes down over my eyes' and 'I'm lost in the scent of your skin'. The song is at its best when hinging on the tension of internal struggle, becuase there's something about the madness around that isn't unconvincing, but is a bit uninvolving.

It's perhaps an unfair comparison but it doesn't help that in the same year Mansun were referencing Jabberwocky too and doing way more fucked up and fascinating things to their rock in the process, albeit without such emotional centre. Still, if not entirely lovable, "The Jub-Jub Bird" is certainly worthwhile and a nice fit to the second half of Last Chance Saloon.

mp3: The Jub-Jub Bird (live)

2 comments:

Chris Brown said...

I think the problem with this track is that it does sound a bit contrived. The two tracks either side are also rather good, but at least I originally heard this album on vinyl.

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