Greetings, Popdosers. Lord Jefito has bestowed me with the honor of running the weekly shake-ya-ass column, and I, for lack of a better word, am positively geeked out by it. I worked as a club DJ in the late Á¢€Ëœ80s, so I know the period Jeff’s previous posts highlighted (Art of Noise, Bomb the Bass, Coldcut remixing Eric B. & Rakim) like it was yesterday. In fact, it’s sometimes easier to think that it was yesterday, rather than accept that those days are 20 years behind me. Sigh.
The decades-long career of Canadian dark wavers Moev is not terribly noteworthy; the band released an album, the label buried them, they signed to a major label, the major label buried them. Band members came and went like they were a Gothic Deep Purple. However, the one truly noteworthy contribution Moev made to the world of music was a big one: frustrated with the poor label support the band had received, guitarist Mark Jowett teamed up with band manager Terry McBride to start their own label in order to guarantee that their records would get a satisfactory level of attention. That was none other than Nettwerk Records, home to Sarah McLachlan, BT, Sixpence None the Richer and the entire Canadian electronic scene. We’ll be covering another one of those alt-Can Nettwerk bands next week, in fact. No, it’s not Skinny Puppy.
If you didn’t know any better, you’d think “Crucify Me” (download) was the result of a bunch of studio executives looking to create a Frankenband, combining the ingredients of other successful bands on the burgeoning modern rock scene into one beastly package. The song’s bass line is filled with the kind of pops and octave jumps that John Taylor patented on the early Duran Duran records, and the vocals Á¢€” which consist of one line sung over and over — are pure Sisters of Mercy. The rest of the track is akin to Ministry’s Twitch (think “Over the Shoulder”). A little industrial, a little Goth, a little funk: Moev wasn’t taking any chances on missing out on a target audience, any target audience. Give them credit, then, for showing a sense of humor about it by including a vocal sample that says “For the masses,” since they had to know that their music was anything but.
Okay, so the song is trying way too hard, but consider it in context: when “Crucify Me” was released, Ministry had not yet gone all mad-as-hell, the Sisters of Mercy were not yet a bloated bore, and Duran Duran had notched a Top 5 single within the last year (“I Don’t Want Your Love”) . Combining those elements was not at all a bad idea, and damned if Moev didn’t create something both dark and fun, if not exactly deep.