I had read about Adam & The Fish-eyed Poets on the Moopcity blog (there is place in this country and in the world for this band – they’re too good not to) a few months back. What monumental lapse of reason it was that took me as long as this to give them a listen is a mystery to me. But sooner mended. And so on to their sophomore effort ‘Dead Loops’.
What struck me first was the gravelly, emotive voice of the singer. Reminded me a bit of Kim Carnes (don’t kill me) in the delivery and Bruce Springsteen. I’m not sure if Springsteen is an influence, but there seemed to be a nod to him – intentional or otherwise – on ‘Purgatory City’ when the lead sings ‘lt’s a freight train running through the muck between my ears’, reminiscent of a line in ‘I’m On Fire’. But the more you listen to their music, all comparisons thin to ephemera.
This album is the antithesis of the change-the-world idealism of wannabe heroes. It yanks you down with sickening force to the stark reality of a world of compromises, of formerly bright eyes dulled to defeat, of weary acceptance. This is an album of tales, of a young man ‘forced to react at 24; should have been an engineer but what do I know’, of the creep who revels in the knowledge of being hated by all and in the power he wields over them :
now my wife she hates me
and I don’t blame her so
she had to leave the man she loved
for some privileged schmuck
that her folks would approve of…
…and I impose my will
I’m ever so cruel but I try to be subtle
‘cos I am her bossman… oh yeah
now my daughter looks like the milkman
and she hates me as well
But perhaps nothing captures the mood of this album quite as well as the scary reality expressed in ‘Little Man’:
and my first assignment was a fisherman’s daughter
who took a lease on a small body of water
she was orphaned at 15 with a family to feed
was just a matter of time before she fell behind
60 % yea that’s what the book says
60 % or they’ll have your head
they sent a bunch of thugs to get her
but she was already dead so I’ll just tell myself
that I can’t upset the order
or question the chain of command
I’m a replaceable cog that can’t afford to lose his job
so the good lord will have to understand
that I’m just a little man
If that isn’t a bucket of ice-cold water on somnolence , what is?
While the poets and Adam on the first two albums were essentially by just one man, singer-songwriter Kishore Krishna recording all the songs at his home, they’re now a 4-man act getting ready for their third album. Me, I haven’t even got around to the first. I’m so stuck in a dead loop.
Both albums are available as free downloads on Bandcamp in multiple formats (I love Bandcamp for that) at http://adamandthefisheyedpoets.bandcamp.com/