Essentially now the solo project of Neil Pennycook, despite an impressive cast list flitting through the revolving doors, Meursault return with a really rather triumphant album.
Usually a more interesting live proposition than on record – an appearance at the BBC 6 Music festival in Glasgow this year was just spectacular and seductively intense – it seems with I Will Kill Again that things have finally been translated more fully onto wax.
That’s not to say previous outings have been poor, just, this release after a two-year hiatus captures the intimate yet primal elements that define the band on stage: the introspective yet powerful darkness apparent in the soul of the main man is given free rein.
That being the case, I Will Kill Again ain’t terribly jolly but then there is comfort in a brutally honest soundtrack to the human condition: sonorous keyboards glide around tracks like ‘Klopfgeist’ with a yearning vocal that seems both anguished yet oddly at home in an inky void: perhaps illustrating exactly where he and the band is right now.
Rightly shortlisted for the Scottish Album of the Year award, it’s impossible not to be both moved and also feel faint disquiet by tracks like ‘Belle Amie’ – a paean to lost love, perhaps, with immaculate and haunting vocals that ooze from a dark dark place; remarkable stuff indeed.
Another excellent release from Edinburgh-based Song, By Toad Records and one that adds to their impressive output with a distinctive and strangely warming voice, even in amongst the grit and grief.
“The last thing the world needs now / Is another song about the fucking sea“, says Mr Pennycook on ‘Ode To Gremlin’ – that may very well be true but one gets the feeling these songs needed to be written as much as any kind of artistic intent.
Such sincerity and honesty is a dangerous muse to toy with – it frequently results in rather worthy but artless outpourings – however, Pennycook keeps things taut: catharsis in a measured but bearly controlled way, that is where Meursault are at and, for us, that is quite excellent.
Beautiful melodies and immaculate production with a hefty dose of reality – can’t ask for much more and one hopes this reincarnation carries on with more releases to come: Meursault come of age and are a very exciting proposition at the moment, very exciting indeed.
Words: Vosne Malconsorts