James Domestic, Carrion Repeating (2022) Amok

Despite making it through school with a solitary AS and a deep seated aversion to authority, which you can hear in tracks like “Bean Counter”, James D is definitely a Renaissance Man, although he counters that quickly with perpetual dabbler, defining his multi faceted music making as self deprecating flitting. Constantly writing and discarding songs, Punk Musician, published poet, academic, soul reggae DJ, producer, James brings this searching nature to bear on CARRION REPEATING. A firm musical DIY’er the album is both lo fi, raw and cohesive, blending spoken word, or is that spat?, with post punk, Bowie’s leer, sound system bass and attitude. But Domestic’s snarl has substance, while he points and questions, there are gems, truths and occasional possible answers amongst the seething bile

“Itchy Itchy” is razor sharp electronic drums, angry overdriven guitar, and lyrics that veer between profanity and genuinely profane, contemplating the dread of mundane existence. With its attention grabbing first line, this is poetry to be shouted, not read silently in a library as you follow the words with your finger. “Faze Out” adds disquieting ice cream van keyboards and superb 80s Hawkwind guitar to the sound. James on tracks like “Itchy Itchy” and “Holiday” offers either a high street poet vocal, Ian Dury growl with a bored snarl that makes Blur’s “Park Life” sound like half arsed low sugar commentary, or does a huge rock front man roar. Like a 21st Century Island hopping Punk Philip Larkin “Holiday” is sharply observed, laying into the tourist clichés, offering real life alternatives. Even the keyboards sound bored by the heat and monotony In an album of up tempo short sharp shocks with catchy choruses like the disturbing “Giblets”, “Push On Through” is longer form, building an atmosphere slowly. Washes of keyboards suggest doppler phased passing traffic in a late night odyssey into tiredness. The Bassline and the feel of “Push On Through” reminded me of Jah ft Wobbles “Rising Above Bedlam”, both offer evocative atmosphere and surreal observations. Like “Itchy Itchy” “Bean Counter” cuts to the core of working for idiots, drawing a situation we’ve been in. Sharp observed jabs jostle with a heartfelt chorus that makes radio play impossible. “Weekend Carbs” is almost gentle in a bruised way, with a Dury croon chorus delivering more real life moments. “Is That You” lends Domestic’s knowing dry snarls to 60s pop as he considers sparring with a glimpsed ex. “Mañana” is the perfect vehicle for James’ considered snarling indifference. “Never Enough” is superb Domestic, flavoured with a little Chic guitar.
An album’s worth of jagged observations and insights, delivered by a Punk Peter Cook, captivating and unique.

Marc Higgins 20/04/22



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