Friday, May 01, 2009

Pop-Cap: Jarvis Cocker – Further Complications

The break-up of a marriage is slow, painful and demoralising but that doesn’t mean that a Jarvis Cocker solo album seemingly about the death of his should be too. Recorded quickly and cheaply with Steve Albini, Further Complications finds Jarvis trying to wear away the eternal good will afforded him by trying out multiple styles, all of which fit him as well as wifebeater and trucker cap would.

There’s asthmatic uhhs and yeahs on “Angela” and near-instrumental “Pilchard” as his band bluster through rocking out (well, it brought Nick Cave back right?). The dourly self-reflexive “I Never Said I Was Deep” rolls seemingly forever on instrumental vamps and weedy crooning that is more Phoenix Nights than Richard Hawley. There’s even a Batman theme knock-off about new super-antihero “Homewrecker” with, er, raunchy sax honks (by ex-Stoooge Steve MacKay) that seems designed to cash in on Jarv seeing a gaggle of women with fifties tattoos on Shoreditch High Street.

In place of wit or insight, weary puns abound (continuing the bad tabloid feel of his previous albums “Fat Children”). The only respite is on nine-minute closer “You’re in my Eyes (Discosong)” where Jarvis wheezes and his band jam over a loop from Glass Candy’s “Rolling Down the Hills” as warm backing coos gradually thaw the frost from his bones.

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