I’m forever writing nonsense like “music and art should challenge you” like some sort of desperately earnest teenager. And I do believe it should, but I wasn’t prepared for just how challenging “For The Consideration of Amateur Jockeys” would be.
Civil Elegies music is….probably best described as a reaction. Nothing here feels composed or structured. It feels like a the rawest of nerves being slammed repeatedly against each other with only the briefest rest bites which are positively pregnant with menace. You know when people describe Seal as easy listening? This is the opposite of that.
Confrontational music is the best. Civil Elegies are about as confrontational as music gets. Ergo, Civil Elegies are a pretty sweet band.
If noise rock that is less self-indulgent and more excessively aggressive sounds like you’re thing then Civil Elegies are exactly what you should be listening to. Their albums are all recorded live, they play with a sense of total desperation and the sense of menace they bring to the stage is actually palpable. Civil Elegies are the soundtrack to a Glasgow kiss. But without any of the intimacy of that particular idiosyncrasy of Scotland’s biggest city.
“Aesthetics” is pretty heavy going. Both in terms of music and the retrospective subject matter (which is best understood by reading the authour’s notes on the bandcamp release of the album). This record is angular, dissonant and extremely aggressive. And yet…it’s really pretty catchy. In the same way a hammer to the head is catchy.