Monday, 1 December 2008

Incredible String Band

This next is a bit of a rant.
While on the subject of "forgotten classics" or "cult" records, I recently bought The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter" by The Incredible String Band, appropriately in a charity shop.
Now I love weird music. The stranger the better. But this goes way past weird all the way back to - well, what exactly? They say there's a thin line between genius and madness, this record shows that there is a thin line between genius and not very good at all. I have read reviews praising the singers use of non-Western tones. I'm sorry, but to me it just sounds like me singing. Which, as anyone who has heard it will tell you, isn't singing at all. I can't listen to The Minotaur's Song without thinking of Monty Python's Lumberjack Song.
I'm sure there are people who will disagree, and point me at the stunning instrumental abilities (no arguments there) or the originality (well, maybe, but not every original idea is a good one). But the fact remains that this is just not a very good record.
Having said that, if I had to choose between this and the latest hillbilly backwoods boy maundering on about his life and how he has only one pair of dungarees for the road (Hayes Carll, you are guilty), I'd choose this one.

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