Oscar Quick – Weaponised Soup

Posted: 28 August 2022 in Albums
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

24th August 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

There are certain popular adages which are, frankly, and demonstrably, bollocks. The first is ‘if you can’t do, teach’. Admittedly, the state off education here in Britain means that academics at all levels are forced to teach outside their field with the scantest of time to prepare. I discovered this first-hand while working on a PhD thesis on William Burroughs and postmodernism and being tossed a semester’s teaching on Elizabethan literature. But moreover, most teachers wo get to teach in their specialist areas clearly can ‘do’ having attained a certain level of qualification. Can teachers of musical instruments also not ‘do’? Can diving instructors not drive?

And then there’s the popular notion that music reviewers are failed musicians. Perhaps the people who cast this aspersion should speak to Neil Tennant or more pertinently John Robb, Jim Irvin, and Sally Still. I might not point them in the direction of my own ongoing musical activities so much, but would highlight Oscar Quick, the man behind the ‘Needs More Cowbell’ site, where he posts considered reviews of new releases, who has recently turned in a handful of live shows and delivered the album Weaponised Soup.

In his bio, Quick explains how Weaponised Soup ‘features influences from disco, hip hop, rave and progressive rock, while remaining true to its core 80’s post punk sound. Dealing with Oscar’s experiences with insomnia, this record is a stream of consciousness during those many long nights, covering the extreme highs and destructive lows of staying awake for days at a time.’

As a lifelong insomniac, it’s relatable: the output happens because how else do you distract a fevered, restless brain that won’t let you rest? As you may guess, it’s not only a stylistic melting-pot, but also very much an album that jumps all over the place in a way which conveys the mania and erratic impulses that arise from protracted sleeplessness.

Weaponised Soup Album Cover

Opener ‘I Should Sleep’ sounds like The Pixies, only staggering weary with fatigue and mumbling, slurred, and fugue-like. But if you’re looking for reference points, look no further than the title of ‘Assorted Psycho Candy’, which is, unexpectedly, a remarkably atmospheric, downtempo trip-hop / post-rock crossover that finds Quick picking through a medley off musings. ‘Over the Garden Wall’ is a contemplative wash of Cure-esque synths and packs more than its necessary share of cowbell.

Some songs are more successful than others: ‘Chrysanthemums’ is a weird, almost baggy slice of dance that twitches with paranoia and tension and switches into frenetic territory around the mid-point, but the sub-Goldie Lookin’ Chain white rapping takes some absorption., and the New Order-esque ‘Respect for Dinner Ladies’ brings more Sprechgesang and even straight spoken vocals that likely sit in the Yard Act bracket, and in its simmering tension and up-front awkwardness, by accident or design, Weaponised Soup seems to capture the post-pandemic zeitgeist.

Something clearly changed during lockdown: artists are now talking openly about mental challenges and neurodiversity, and embracing these experiences creatively, and this is reflected in a new wave of music that refuses to be bound by genre, as Andre Rikichi’s wonderfully weird exploratory stylistic explosion on which I wrote only yesterday exemplifies.

As we continue to crawl from under the psychological rubble of the pandemic and successive lockdowns, into a new world that’s not brave, but fearful, tremulous, and ultimately fucked-up and swinging ever further to the right, these are truly terrible times – but as history shows, terrible times tend to spur the creation of great music. With Weaponised Soup, Oscar Quick forges a small but unique space in that fucked-up world, and it’s very much a good thing.

Derby-Uni-UGG-038

Comments
  1. […]  “Weaponized Soup” has received some phenomenal reviews if you are into a bit of extra reading:https://auralaggravation.com/2022/08/28/oscar-quick-weaponised-soup […]

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