Julian Cope’s Album of the Month

Holy McGrail - Raw Power Suite

Holy McGrail
Raw Power Suite

AOTM #102, November 2008ce
Released 2008 on Brain Donor Records
  1. Search & Destroy (1.46)
  2. Gimme Danger (3.23)
  3. Hard To Beat/Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell (Medley) (9.41)
  4. Penetration (3.35)
  5. Raw Power (4.23)
  6. I Need Somebody (3.31)
  7. Shake Appeal (14.12)
  8. Death Trip (Parts 1&2) (5.34)

First released in two highly limited editions back in 2002CE, then again in 2003CE, Holy McGrail’s legendary RAW POWER SUITE finally enjoys a so-called ‘full release’ here in good ole ’08, replete with several brand new (even-more-extreme) mixes and a highly charged performance of ‘I Need Somebody’ mewled out by Lucifer NYC’s chanteuse Lucy Brownhills. Whilst it’s to be expected that recordings/packages such as this don’t come along very often in ye current career-minded music biz climate, RAW POWER SUITE — in its defiance, its obstinate destructuralizing, its nihilistic clamour — very much inhabits and celebrates those traditions that made Iggy & the Stooges’ own versh so essential way back in the day. For, in its original form, RAW POWER was a cunning & cunted re-write of the Sat’day Nacht impulse, a pre-intellectual sub-basement trawl through every Stones riff, every J. Calean single-note Tamla-meets-the Vagrants single note Psoul Piano pulse, every lickle Tail Draggin’ Howlin’ Wolf acoustic 11-through-15 bar boogie, and each’n’all set within the Tricky Dicky Nixon-informed contexts of fire fights of contemporary ‘America Without’ (the official insurgencies in Vietnam smokescreening the CIA’s desperate counter-terrorism on umpteen worldwide fronts). Herein, McGrail absorbs all of the aforemenched and then some, barfing forth a brand new & gleaming Technicolour Yawn that stands knee-deep in those bizarre bog-at-the-edge-of-the-world cultural traditions set by such brazen and Godlike Ancestors as THIRD REICH’N’ROLL-period Residents, the post-Metal Urbain experiments of both Metal Boys AND Dr. Mix & the Re-Mix, Armand Schaubroeuk’s giddying psychoromp SHAKIN’ SHAKIN’, all & everything set down by Asahito Nanjo’s High Rise, and Makoto Kawabata’s IN C-period Acid Mothers Temple. That the results caught within the grooves of RAW POWER SUITE inhabit those same unnerving and sci-fi hinterlands as Damon Edge’s early Chrome releases (and John Morton’s posthumously released Electric Eels compilations) makes this Album of the Month one seriously useful motherfucker; no-one with a need need need to escape the humdrum of everyday 21st century life will be able to claim themselves correctly armed and ready for Ragnarok’s Last Battle With The Greedheads & Priesthoods without a copy of McGrail’s new opus secreted in their Revolutionary backpacks. Play this sucker at the dinner parties of Guardian readers, and each host will leg out to Maplins mid-bite, convinced that their speaker cones are fucked; spin it in niteclubs and every stoner will assume they’ve been spiked with Ket and/or all action is taking place next door. In a world where the lowbrow post-10CC post-ELO ’90-s phoney Beatlemania of Oasis has been stuporceded by the embarrassingly earnest ‘hard-working’ (Gimme a Break!) career-minded bourgeois cunts of the Coldplay/Radiohead middle-brow brigade, only the Erudite Barbarian who D E M A N D S simultaneous HighBrow Revolution AND Underworld Revelation will be able to expect any guarantees of future survival, which is why Holy McGrail’s RAW POWER SUITE is both Canny & Uncanny evidence that the latter serpentine path is the sole modern route worthy of pursuing to any real conclusion. And in this world of rapidly changing, nay, daily changing Goalposts, only those who exhibit perpetual Pele-like twists & turns, George Bestian feints‘n’shimmies, and dizzying Dayglo Maradona dancing tootsies, will have any real chance of survival. Which is why you must, along with the inevitable studies of G. Gurdjieff and P.D. Ouspensky, score your very own copy of RAW POWER SUITE. Let the dance commence!!!