ARAB STRAP – ” The Turning Of Our Bones “

Posted: September 6, 2020 in MUSIC
Tags: , , , , ,

Perhaps the most surprising return of all though came courtesy of Falkirk’s finest musical songs, Arab Strap.

The world last heard from the duo of Malcolm Middleton and Aidan Moffat back in 2005, when they seemingly called it a day with their sixth album, The Last Romance. Described by The Guardian as the, “grimy sonic embodiment of hedonism and hangovers”, Arab Strap formed in 1995 when the pair bonded over a shared love of the likes of Smog and Will Oldham. The band broke-up amicably in 2006 after the release of their 2005 album The Last Romance album, but reformed in 2016 for some reunion gigs.

Few bands better channelled the wild pleasure-seeking decadence of post-Thatcherite Britain than Arab Strap. With their blend of modern folk storytelling and rave culture, they sang songs of drink, drugs and (often failed) sexual encounters, with a distinctly Scottish edge.

In many ways they were the embodiment of a boom period in Scottish music. A movement of independent creativity was spearheaded by their label Chemikal Underground, who gave the world the likes of Mogwai, Bis and The Delgados. Suddenly Scotland was cool, with its blending of artsy-cool and edgy grit, and it had a soundtrack entirely of its own creation, with Arab Strap right at the heart of it all.

While the pair have never left the musical world, both releasing various solo and collaborative projects, fifteen years is a long time for any band to be away. Thankfully their return, new single, The Turning Of Our Bones, shows they haven’t lost any of their edge. A moody five-minutes, as a propulsive rhythm is punctuated by meandering guitar-lines and that spoken word style vocal delivery, that sketches out a tale of lust and decay, “the heart began to putrify and then the body bloated, as our hair and teeth fell out we did our best to be devoted”. As the band put it, they’re back from the grave and ready to rave, age has done nothing to dim their creativity or unique musical vision, if Arab Strap are having a party you’d be daft not to join them.

7″ Vinyl with exclusive B-side is out 23rd October on Rock Action Records

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