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Review: Scott Walker – “Bisch Bosch”

“Nothing clears a room like removing a brain…”- Corps De Blah

In my years of working music retail I can 100% ascertain that nothing clears a store like a Scott Walker album and that is a compliment of the highest order. Difficult listening? I’ve spent the past month trying to digest Scott Walker’s new album, Bisch Bosch, and a month is not enough. It is difficult listening but there are rewards to be reaped. At times, it’s lush, sparse, swinging and some songs resemble Morphine. It’s varied and doesn’t rely solely on standard instruments in the production. Machetes, whoopie cushions and something that sounds like dogs barking are utilized. Sounds creep in and out, synths stab and drop out like the evening being disrupted by a sole scream and overall left me with a feeling of nervousness. There are many moments where Bisch Bosch eerily sulks around and leaps out of the shadows to startle listeners.

Lyrically, imagine seeing a Broadway production starring legitimate scoundrels (Nicolae Ceau?escu- Romanian Communist politician who was executed on Christmas Day- subject of “The Day The Conducator Died (An Xmas Song)), freaks (Zercon- the jester for Attilla The Hun) and knaves. The lead is an unassuming man who revels in being surrounded by the dredge of society who has assembled a historical Legion of Doom to ruin your day.

Bisch Bosch is easily the most harrowing and bizarre musical journey of the year. Fittingly, a near Christmas release for possibly the years most fucked up album for the most fucked up season. Buy for Mitt Romney supporters, anyone who received special gifts from President Obama, your cousin who wants the new Swans/ GSYBE records or anyone heavy into acid. While you’re at it, watch 30th Century Man to try and understand the most out there Ohioan expat.

Bisch Bosch is out now on 4AD Records.