28 February 2006

the broken family band - "alone in the make-out room" (from the balls lp, import available for purchase here.)

in brief : british alt.country band deliver a classic lover's spat; let's call it "fairytale of newlyweds."

no, no, it's not the "ballad of nick & jessica," although threats of strangulation, electrocution, starvation, etc. are probably not uncommon between those two right now, esp. now that nick's going after the fortune. "alone in the make-out room" is more like another famous divorced singing couple, george jones & tammy wynette; this one probably would've been recorded not long after they realized they weren't gonna hold on. "make-out room" is vintage nashville break-up music, equal parts broken bones and broken hearts.

and though the twang and tropes are in place, i can't help but think of another lover's quarrel, "fairytale of new york" by the pogues w/ kirsty maccoll. it never ceases to amaze me how the mention of "christmas day" and the season's spirit of goodwill keep so many people from overlooking so much ugliness in the song. like "fairytale," "make-out room" is grimly humorous, but also like its forbear, it is not unleavened misery; one is reminded that such deep hatred could only be engendered by a greater love. so after the guitar solo, when steve adams sings, "i want to leave you by the side of the road / or out in a field in the rain or the snow / and people walkin' past could come and take pictures," he does so w/ a whisper that suggests, though the hurt is still there, it's overcome by a weariness, a desire to let bygones be bygones. he's met directly after w/ piney gir's hopeful declaration : "i'm gonna treat you the best that i can / cos' i'm your girl and you're my man and / we'll make them jealous with our laughin' and carryin' on." in the end, "alone in the make-out room" is music for when the honeymoon is over, but the love affair still lingers on.

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