To All A Good Night . . .
Sadly, Arab Strap has called it quits. For me it's really sad, because it was only in April of this year that I finally got to see them live, having followed their career and bought almost everything by them since 1997, when I first heard Philophobia. I instantly fell in love with Aidan Moffatt's vocals and Scottish accent, and went a bit ape-shit, buying up anything I could find with him doing vocals (Mogwai, David Holmes' Don't Die Just Yet EP, etc). I've rarely been disappointed by the band, and actually think that their last studio album, The Last Romance, is one of their best albums yet. It's a bit quicker paced, and bit more direct lyrically, but moves the band in a great direction. Clearly this new move didn't equate to greater sales, and so the band is calling it quits.
Before they go out, they will put out one last compilation of rarities and favourites, titled Ten Years of Tears, with the following tracklisting:
01 Preface: Set the Scene
02 Islands (Original 1995 Demo)
03 The First Big Weekend
04 Gilded (Live)
05 I Saw You (Peel Session)
06 The Clearing (Single Version)
07 Packs of Three (Live Acoustic)
08 (Afternoon) Soaps
09 Rocket, Take Your Turn
10 To All a Good Night
11 Turbulence (Bis Remix Radio Edit)
12 The Shy Retirer
13 Blood (Live)
14 If There's No Hope for Us (Rogue Version)
15 Where We've Left Our Love
16 The Girl I Loved Before I Fucked (Full Band Version)
18 There Is No Ending (7" Edit)
Oxytocin is their first ever recording, so I'll be interested to hear that. The tracks on the comp were all picked out by the band. Sadly, the group's favourite songs does not include my all time favourite, which is "New Birds" from the Mad for Sadness live album. I strongly recommend that you find a way to listen to this song by ANY MEANS NECESSARY!! It's a gorgeous story about meeting up with an ex-crush at a bar, and when given the chance to finally have sex with her, the lead chooses to stay loyal to his present love, and goes his separate way. Moffat's pacing in telling the story is absolutely perfect, and the music fits the story beautifully. The song originally appeared on Philophobia, but I prefer the live cut.
Luckily, neither Moffatt or Malcolm Middleton will be giving up on music. Moffatt returns next year with new L. Pierre material. For those who don't know this project, I strongly recommend you track down the first full length, titled Hypnogogia, and it is one of the best ambient albums I own. I strongly recommend it!!! Also, after seeing the group live, I realized that they are both big into dance/trance beats, which you could tell just by how timed their playing was, and they way they loved to jam. I'm very excited for new projects in the future, and hopefully they'll maintain the high quality music that Arab Strap provided.