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Monday At The Hug And Pint

Arab Strap Audio CD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 18.73 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Be Grateful For The Existence of Arab Strap April 26 2004
Format:Audio CD
This is a band like no other. If they ever have anything bigger than a cult following, it'll be the day that Iraq elects a secular government with a platfrom of joining the U.S. in invading Canada. Their previous albums were little more than 'soundscapes', with free-form poetry read over the top in a Scottish accent. But it was fascinating, hypnotic stuff; stories of white trash life set to slow guitar picking, the wheezing of some old organ, and maybe a violin thrown in here and there. There were tales of getting naked with the sister of a friend, and finding out about the secret affairs of a girlfriend in her diary. "As I said at the time," intones Adrian Moffat, talking about the hidden diary. "If you've got nothing to hide, why hide it?" These kind of words hang around in your memory a lot longer than whatever crap flavor-of-the-month bands babble in their rush to get to the chorus.
So anyway, after three albums of that kind of thing, it was apparently time to ramp up the drum machine, and put some work into the backing music, which is more complex and hook-laden than before. The lyrics are still about the usual themes of getting drunk, having sex, and breaking up - and they're just as profane as before - but they're sung this time. That makes this album the most accessible of their career so far, and maybe the best - if not the most groundbreaking. But what the hell, that ground was already broken, and it was time to build. With this album, they've built a really good ground floor. Here's hoping the second storey is as good.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good for your pint's companion, but... March 31 2004
Format:Audio CD
If you're apt for really discovering this largely unnoticed but great band it's best not to start here. This is by no means a bad album but Arab Strap have offered better things in the -not so distant- past.
This band have made their underground name by being masteful in expressing their weirdo melancholy through stories of everyday sadness and through very distinct melodies which range from low-fi to experimental rock. Overall, this is a seriously idiosyncratic band, and this whimsiness of theirs has brought forth a few gorgeously moody albums previously.
What's missing then is first of all the bizzarity in the music which comes across rather flat and non-distinguishable compared to what this band is capable of.
Still, if this album is your first point of contact with Arab Strap you might find this LP very worthwhile and pleasant. Pleasant i said? That's the problem. Arab Strap aren't that good when they are "pleasant", even if that means -in this case- more accesible. This however, should in no way discourage you from checking them out as it's obvious that i'm speaking from a -positively- biased point of view.
An added pointer: Arab Strap come under the Chemical Underground label, a label with some very intriguing bands on their roster (usually rock bands with a tendency to experiment). Check out their stuff as well, but other than that be sure to listen to earlier Arab Strap LPs especially the one previous to "Monday at the Hug and Pint"...
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1.0 out of 5 stars terrible Feb. 14 2004
Format:Audio CD
i hated this album. arab strap are great but this album is rubbish. the one star is for the first track, its disco like and alright, the rest is 'pish'.
infact it pains me that they even made this album. red thread wasnt like earlier stuff but it was good. they dont seem love lorn and bitter enough, are they all happily married with children and big f*ck off tellys now? other reviewers say that its a good album because its not as depressing. i just think that arab strap work best when theyre all sad (or steeped in vigorous techno). terrible album.
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