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.
All the history of music books that my father insists on giving for Christmas suggest that rock ‘n’ roll was all about the dancing when it started. That’s not so much the case now. It’s more about talking about dancing on-line while you share videos on your social media platform of choice. Or it’s about poorly sequenced synths. Frequently both. Thin Privilege is an album that is neither of these things. But it does provoke a physical response, even if its one that isn’t as universally applauded as a sweet dance move.