'MONDAY AT THE HUG & PINT"
It would be bad form to write off Arab Strap as just
another musical export in the so-called Scottish
invasion. Like their cohorts, MOGWAI and BELLE &
SEBASTIAN, they write lyrical, melody charged pop
songs with tongue firmly in cheek. Although the Straps
are a bit more mischievous.
Malcolm Middleton and Aiden Moffat are crafty buggers.
After seven years they are misanthropic storytellers
with no shame. Many of their lyrics center around the
world of relationships, good bad and disastrous. They
also write about drug hazes, glom and Scottish
They throw it all at you, cellos, bagpipes, distorted
beats, doors slamming and floods of tears. This is
especially true with their new CD, "Monday At The Hug
& Pint." named after a pub in their native Falkirk,
the album melds all of these things into a well
crafted, but sometimes non-contiguous album.
The album attempts to create the pub feeling. You
enter on a euphoria, then you drink, think, drink,
mingle, talk, mingle and drink some more. Somewhere
along the line you're at the barstool being sad and
miserable, but somehow reveling in it all. Arab Strap
have made a record that is lyrically frank. They are
honest and on point. However after a few rounds, they
begin to spiral into sadness and decay as they banter
on about bastards and evil women.
"The Shy Retirer" encapsulates the euphoria. it is a
brilliant beginning to the album. It features a beat
that slashes calmly along, melded with great hooks and
lyrics. "Meanwhile At The Bar, A drunkard Muses," is
tinged with darkness. It has dark lyrics and weeping
melodies as a backdrop.