21/10/2014 – Scott Walker and Sunn O)))-Bull (2014)

Unlikely pairing yields Scott Walkers most enjoyable and listenable album in 19 years

 

 

In recent years Scott Walker’s musical output has been, well, harrowing at best. At times if feels that Walker is changeling his listeners to stick around until the album finishes. If/when you give up he is notified and chuckles while rubbing his hands laughing. This cannot be said for Soused. On this album Walker has released something that can be tangibly called ‘enjoyable’. A major factor of this new found enjoyment is down to his collaborators Sunn O))).

 

 

 

 

Sunn O))) are a three piece ambient metal group. Since their inception they have pushed the boundaries of what metal, experimental heavy rock and avant garde music can be. In a nutshell they play loud, slow, reparative and did I say loud? Their involvement on this album is a match made in heaven. What started off as a mutual love in, turned into something far more interesting and exciting. The juxtaposition of their hard, crunchy guitars and Walkers falsetto operative voice works perfectly and what’s more there are hooks that you can hum.

 

 

From the opening moment of Brando (Walkers opening vocals and a guitar riff that sounds a lot like Sweet Child of Mine), you get the impression that this is going to be something special. This gives way to the sound of a whip cracking and Sunn O)))’s trademark heavy, drawn out riffs. After that the album leads its own way through menacing soundscapes, riffs to die for and viseral lyrics for 48 minutes until the final track Lullaby (this isn’t something you’ll want to play to a baby to get them asleep) closes the album.

 

 

While this might not win Walker any new fans, it won’t alienate any existing ones. On Soused, Walker has created some of his most challenging, but listenable tracks in recent years. If you are dubious about an album of this type, heavy droney metal coupled with poetic lyrics (this is the album Lou Reed wanted to make with Metallica), don’t be, at times it’s light and playful, and extremely listenable! OK, this isn’t Scott 3, but it isn’t Tilt or Drift either.

 

 

9/10

 

 

Scott Walker – Bull

 

 

October 2014

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/thisyearinmusicxx

 

 

@thisyearinmusic

 

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7 comments
  1. Well, I’m definitely no music expert, but I felt like his voice didn’t match music, for lack of a better explanation. It was like someone who had been classically-trained trying to sing the opposite. (Just my humble opinion 🙂 )

    • That’s part of the beauty of it. That juxtaposition of the voice and music. Rumour has it that they’d been trying to work together since 2009.

      I totally understand why people don’t like this. I’m slightly surprised how much I like it, but it’s worth listening to the album start to end as the song makes more sense.

  2. I too didn’t like the song much 🙂 But choices and opinions differ.

    • I totally agree with you, but there is something about it that I can’t stop listening to. Scott Walkers pre-1995 output is more classic song writing, after that he starts to get more experimental.

      It’s worth checking out, but you have to be in the mood for it.

  3. Thanks for the heads’ up on this album. I’m not a fan of heavy metal, but I might give this a try!

  4. My friend used to love metal and he’s a super fan of it. He will love this post.

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