Scott Walker - The Drift (4AD)
"I'm the only one left alive..."
The Drift is Scott "Sinatra on acid" Walker's first full-length in 11 years. I hadn't heard his stuff until a few weeks ago, and let me tell you, it is enormously fucked up. I think I read something in NME about how this is the perfect music to lie on your floor in complete darkness and sodomize yourself to. Great comparison. Imagine Nick Cave fronting Glenn Branca's 100 guitar orchestra -- his voice is effortlessly enormous, only reinforced by an almost violent backing band.
The faint at heart (or ear) will be driven away by just about everything -- the atonal string section, his high-pitched wail, and his strange topics. How does hearing someone sing about Mussolini's mistress being buried alive sound? Or cossacks raping Russian children? Or gouging eyes out? Mmm. That one's my favorite.
Like The Fiery Furnaces' Blueberry Boat and CocoRosie's Noah's Ark, this is not for everybody. But somewhere between punching donkeys and cursing Christ there's a very powerful record here. It's hard to find, but it's there.
Scott Walker - "Jesse"