The Jazz Butcher: Rain
Perfect indie-pop, a little rough around the edges, instantly catchy, and full of interesting guitar decorations. ‘Rain’ is from the same session that brought us ‘Roadrunner’, so I’m slightly out of chronological order with this one. Things to love include the backwards guitar (at least, that’s what it sounds like to me, though it also sounds fiddle-like); the staccato descending phrase that announces the vocals; Max’s various chiming embellishments; and the backing vocals, both on ‘Let the rain …’ and ‘Now-na-na–na-now’. For me this is the start of a line of short, sharp, focused pop songs by Pat Fish that later on brought us ‘Bad Dream Lover’ (on Big Planet Scarey Planet) and ‘She’s On Drugs’ (Cult of the Basement). It’s also the song that gave me a revelation about the lineage of indie-pop in general. That it sounds like the Velvet Underground is obvious enough — as with ‘Roadrunner’, it’s in the backing vocals — but that style of song and performance also owes something to American soul music from the 1960s; Lou Reed loved doo-wop and apparently also loved Motown. (Alex Petridis notes that the start of ‘There She Goes Again’ is virtually a quote from the start of Martha and the Vandellas’ ‘Hitch Hike’). Pat’s love of soul emerges most clearly in ‘Come On Marie’ (on, of course, Rotten Soul, in 2000), but there are hints of it from the very beginning of his career.