Fire and brimstone: last pamphlets from the old Deviant pitches in the heart of a rustling darkness.
Mick Farren’s passing in July 2013 robbed rock ‘n’ roll of one if its most inflammatory movers. Never so much of a vocalist Farren documented his time via word – spoken, written and kind of sung – and always kept it quite conceptual. That’s why his final album, given the music by Mick’s long-time co-conspirator Andy Colquhoun, latter-day Pink Fairy and Deviant, could be seen as a sequel to the original DEVIANTS’ final LP, "3" whence the woman in black comes, although this time the playfulness is very limited, having succumbed to the gloom. It oozes out of “Dark Matter” which, as Farren recites, communicates with him, and out of the closing cover of “Tomorrow Never Knows” that takes nihilism to the dancefloor, yet Mick’s old game is in play in the Brechtian choir of “Beautiful Women” and in the harmonies and riffs of “Pick Up The Scissors And Run” with their warped escapism offering a way out of “I Don’t Like It Here ” – a humid, if human experience.
Elsewhere, belligerence reigns, the sharp groove under “AK47” and the bruised opener “Black Dog’s Circle” presenting the black-and-blue vision as Colquhoun’s blues guitar waltzes between the blackness of Farren’s lines, and not for nothing its first licks vaguely quote “Dark Eyes” to link it to the danger of the aforementioned assault rifle. By the same token “Cocaine + Gunpowder” thrives on a dirge-like percussion, while the shred-bumper “If I Was A Hun On My Pony” glorifies intelligently barbaric destruction, and the wet social dream of “Black Vinyl Dress” is contrasted with an acoustic lace whose shape follows the tonal inflections of the poet’s voice. That’s where Mick’s rhetoric hits the spot: soft yet solid, and it’s so sad he left this place right from the stage, on a high note.