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Song of the day – 545: Edward Scissortongue

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Edward Scissortongue

I’m very late on this, but I want to acknowledge this. Absolutely storming single.

Many thanks to Neil:

A disturbingly real transmission from a man in a room in a tall building, the music’s finger-twitching minimalism suiting the tense, grainy vibe of the lyrics perfectly, summing up the frustrations and fuck-ups and fall of a man we’ve all seen around, sometimes out for the count on the corner, sometimes apoplectic in the phone booth, most often staring dead ahead at us from the mirror. A true snapshot of reality, but full of compassion and depth as well. (THE YEAR OF RIVER COTTAGE POP – My 2012 In British Pop Music)

And many thanks to Tamsin:

The track is representative of the album: a dark scar of urban repulsion, preoccupied with death, and with lyrics so heart-stoppingly good, you want to get inside them, or let them inside you, not sure which way around. When I first heard this track, I listened to it again and again to try to work out all the words, stopping it every few seconds so I could write them down. I wanted to see what they looked like on the page, study them and spend more time with them. I’ve not done that since I was at school. (Still Fuck Albums: Tamsin’s Musical 2012)

Moody. Dark. Poetry in troublingly fluid and interrupted motion. One of the singles of 2012, no doubt. You find yourself falling deep within the character Edward Scissortongue has created, deep within the horrorcore grooves. (Tamsin suggests that he’s the link between Mark E. Smith and GZA, which I feel is a bit off, not least because this stream-of-conciseness is so focused, but it does give a reasonable sense of the mood.) So believable, you momentarily lose sight of where you are at the present (the leafy sterile green surrounds of The Gap) and for six or seven horrifyingly vivid minutes you’re reliving that evening walk home from Rotherhithe tube station in the early 80s to your burned-out council estate, breaking into a run at the sound of footsteps anywhere.

He would climb electricity mains and cut the power from his home town and roam the streets reeling in the panic and cotch in cul-de-sac hedgerows watching single mothers sparking matches in the darkness of their living rooms
His grief flourished like anthill communities
Couplets from an undercurrent colour source beneath the grey concrete corridors and monoliths in-and-around the pissy stairwells and pissy lifts in which he found his peace
Beneath the bread line
Bread knives sliced at the smart price car crimes carnage his hair greyed
Cracked enamel pegs inside a garbage pail kid cabbage patch tapping veins until the sun decayed
He moved inland for better dope
Cast away bastard face forgot the names of his school mates
He moved inland like seagulls sacking off trawler ship cast off’s for landfill luncheon
The coastline haunted his thoughts and so he thought ever more about taking a saw to his neck side

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