Good morning and welcome to a new list. Yep. As promised, new year, new list. This one, as order has it, relaying my top 30 favourite tunes of 2012.
We are starting this one off with the title track off Langhorne Slim & the Law’s fourth full-length album, “The way we move”. This is an album that I couldn’t tell you now how it came across my desk but like many others that I’ve read about (such as Conan O’Brien), I became completely obsessed with it for a time, listening to it from end to end, over and over. Then, two years later, after the sheen had worn off, I listened to it and fell in love with it all over again, just after the band was announced for the Ottawa Bluesfest lineup, and I made sure to drag my wife to see his wild and glorious set.
I don’t think I’ve heard any of Langhorne Slim’s other albums, though I’m sure his prior and successive releases must have had some merit, just based on the work here. And yet, and yet, I haven’t found the time to explore further and I think I’m okay with this.
“The way we move” is a great album and the opening track is a perfect wallop to the gut. It is an explosive and violent strum on the acoustic, the hand heavy and bloody, as if the goal was to break all six strings with each strum rather than to play the instrument with any melody. It’s also a punishment to the drum kit as if this were its last tour of duty and its attacker we’re trying to extract every last ounce of rhythm. It is a plinkety plunkety ragtime-y piano, played by a swaying man with a bowler and barber shop mustache and sleeve garters, earplugs in his ears to guard against the blares of horns that keep arising over his shoulder. And of course, it is Langhorne himself singing raucously in a voice so raw that you fear for its longevity.
It is good times personified.
For the rest of the Best tunes of 2012 list, click here.