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Arab Strap - Monday at the Hug and Pint
(7/5/03)


Genre: Alternative Rock

I think that, if there was one term to describe Arab Strap, it would be "the anti-love." That's not to say that the pair focuses on hate, rather, they focus on the pains, imperfections, and realities of a relationship. It seems they've set out to become a counter-balance to the pop songs that espouse the virtues of love--how love can conquer all, how true love is perfect, etc. These people are the exact opposite.

The music itself is interesting enough. They use a drum machine in the most blatant manner possible. They also use string instruments just as much as they use guitars; a good choice, I think, for violins and their kin are much more expressive instruments. The vocals are probably the most interesting, as Moffat doesn't quite sing, but doesn't quite talk--and his heavy accent is quite evident. All of this is worked together in a manner that regularly varies in style, but is never anything other than heavy, depressing, and beautiful. Angsty rock, simple acoustic, and how could two Scots making music not have their ancestry creep in once in a while? Yep, even bagpipes get their spot on this album.

Okay, back to that introduction. Like I said, Arab Strap is the "anti-love." Depressingly so, because they never really have anything good to say about the modern version of "love."

There are no set rules to follow
Only a big black gaping hollow
That we fall into and hope that it means love
And the beasts snapping at your feet
Keep barking that you're incomlete
Don't heed them, but heed the ones above


The lyrics may not be pleasent to think about, but they certainly are beautiful and harshly realistic. For many of us, a fresh, if overexaggerated, take on the idea of "love."

If beautiful and ecletic music espousing the virtues (or lack thereof) of love, Arab Strap is the way to go for you, my friend.

Cool Hand Luke gives Arab Strap's "Monday at the Hug and Pint"

Four-and-a-half stars. No, not quite a classic, but almost as good in my book. On another note: Crap, I need a half-cigarette graphic! Darn you and your monopoly on Photoshop, Shalmdi!

What the other gods think:

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