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Brian M. Clark - Songs From The Empty Places Where People Killed Themselves

Brian M. Clark is one busy guy. He runs the Unpop Art website, edited Standing In Two Circles: The Collected Works of Boyd Rice, authored the books Fuck All You Motherfuckers and What Will Really Happen In 2012. Others may know him from his appearance on the Boyd and Giddle single 'Going Steady With Peggy Moffitt'. Songs From The Empty Places Where People Killed Themselves is his first solo release and it shows him to be a talented composer.

On Songs From The Empty Places Where People Killed Themselves he breathes life into a number of suicide scenarios, in the tradition of tone poems. But this mood music is not what you expect. There's almost a kitsch feel to 'Suburban Bedroom' with it swirling carousel like organ, and pumping organ and jazzy drums. It's a sinister haunted sound not too far removed from the theme to the 70's UK television series Tales of the Unexpected. With a lumbering bass segueing into marimba and late-night piano playing with the aid of some rhythmic jazzy drums, 'Downtown High-Rise Loft' charts the demise of a drunken executive as he staggers around his expensive downtown New York apartment. Naturally it all ends with a bang as the failed executive takes his own life with a gunshot. At least that's how I imagined it.

That's what's good about this. Songs From The Empty Places... doesn't impose a rigid reading. There's the track title and a brief description of the suicide scenario from there on it's up to the listener to fill in the detail, as brutal or banal as you care to make it. 'High School Library, Gymnasium and Cafeteria' starts with a morose piano score, gradually building up with more jazz drums beating like bullets in a high-school massacre as it jettisons into thrash guitar with a blizzard of bullet-like drums, as the protagonist stalks the school. At least, that's how I heard it.

There are more gloomy piano notes alongside the drip, drip, dripping sounds of water on 'Studio Apartment Bathroom'. Twanging guitar notes hover in the air as an ominous thud tells us that life for the old widow is over.

At the hands of Brian M. Clark, suicide has never sounded so groovy. And if you want a higher death toll then there are two extra drug-induced remix tracks available as downloads. Songs From The Empty Places Where People Killed Themselves is released as a one-sided 12-inch in an edition of 500 copies. For more information go to