"It's like an occult movie where you know something terrible is happening just out of focus, but you don't know what it is."
Nothing shocks us anymore. We've celebrated transgender Eurovision winners, endured Sunn O)))'s brutal experiments at unimaginable volumes and watched the man tipped to win this year's Best Actor award at the Oscars get raped by a bear (although it looked more like a couple of dry humps to me).
Nothing shocks anymore, except perhaps Fat White Family's catastrophically lo-fi debut Champagne Holocaust, the sound of five depraved South London urchins contaminating all that was tasteful in indie-rock. It wasn't everyone's cup of tea, but it made waves: filthy great waves with its sheer, unabashed degeneracy.
Inevitably Songs for Our Mothers is less shocking. It's a subtler animal, less a blatant affront to morality, barely less lo-fi with a few less howls and an assortment of lumbering grooves that gradually pull you in, in a surprisingly seductive way. It opens with Whitest Boy On The Beach which is propelled by a smooth, disco-in-a-dungeon type backing, and is followed by the grimy electronic bass that carries the cryptic chanting of Satisfied. That the lyrics are barely discernible — and when they are they're rarely comprehensible — only adds to the unsettling sensation. It's like an occult movie where you know something terrible is happening just out of focus, but you don't know what it is. Songs for Our Mothers is a pungent reminder that bad taste has always played an important part in counterculture.