The first thing that came to my mind after digesting the first effort of Welsh funny guys Mclusky was a question. How can a band that ***s around so much with lyrics, song titles and approach be as important as they are fun? For me, Mclusky are an essential band for any lover of Noise Rock, I mean, with their filthy distorted guitar and bass, loud and chaotic abuse of drums and the insane screaming of ramblings such as 'sit on myself and cover myself in joy', the band was nothing short of a Noise Rock phenomenon, and with those ingredients, they deserved to be.
My Pain and Sadness is More Sad and Painful Than Yours is a solid and consistent record. From the word go, the listener is assaulted by a short burst of menacing guitar riffs and terrorising vocals with 'Joy'. I adore this song, it has everything, it's catchy, it's loud, it's funny, it's clever and it proves that songs don't always have to be overly technical, or serious. Music can be fun and Mclusky know this and force it upon us with short and sweet numbers, such as 'Rice is Nice', 'She Comes In Pieces', 'When They Come tell Them No', 'Mi-o-mai' and 'Whiteliberalonwhiteliberalaction'. These songs are sharp and will definitely get you moving your head in appreciation, the catchiness will also lead to you finding yourself singing things as absurd as 'save me alta-vista they've got cauliflower ears / still I haven't seen the sun, or moon for twenty seven years / she wants to dance on burning bridges, making patterns in the snow / I want to move to Mexico where everyone's a hero.' This is what Mclusky did very, very well and continued to do so up until their split in 2005.
What Mclusky didn't do very well, however, is anything else. They could've stuck to the successful formula and compiled a collection of hard-rocking, short and to-the-point tracks for the duration of the record and it would've worked. Mix in a couple of songs from their next offering 'Do Dallas' and I could've been writing about an excellent record instead of a good one. The problem is the longer and more serious (if you could call them that) songs are not very well written in my opinion, there is something missing in 'Flysmoke', 'Friends Stoning Friends' and 'You Are My Sun'. What's missing is the creativity of the harder rocking songs, Mclusky's longer efforts seem to teeter towards the boring and this is where the bands lack of any outstanding technical skill hurts them the hardest. With the Noise songs they know what they are doing, they are in their element, unfortunately, it is not the same when they try to conjure up similar feelings by using other methods.
All in all, this truly is a good album and one worth purchasing. The combination of humour and hard rock will definitely suit a certain mood, and therefore there will always be a time to give it a spin.