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Cash Savage & The Last Drinks : One Of Us

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Nick Cave once remarked that sadness is a natural emotion, a psychological state that can only be defined by reference to pleasant times. For Stephen Fry, the lows of his polarised psychological existence are devastating beyond comprehension; conversely, the highs are a thing of shining brilliance. Theologians will note that God created light out of dark; one cannot exist without the other.
 
There is a mixture of dark and light on Cash Savage and the Last Drinks’ new album, One of Us. The album opens shrouded in darkness with Falling, Landing, a Leadbellyish wander through vast cerebral space of contemplation, spiked with flashes of awareness. Run With the Dogs takes to the hills with a Springsteen-like spring in the step, searching for a better place, if possibly it can be found. Sunday Morning is sombre morning after the night before,some of it’s good, and some is probably best seen from the comfort of your bedroom; Empty Page is bleak and intense, a black hole from which only the strong can escape. Rat-a-Tat-Tat is an intense rock’n’roll blaze, the spectre of The Mercy Seat just visible in the distance.
 
The rhetorical enquiry Do You Feel Loved breaks from memory into frenetic celebration, My Friend is equal parts sincerity, sadness and love and Song For a Funeral is so heavy it buckles your shoulders and breaks your heart. Port is a warning shot across the bows of cultural repression and social dysfunction: the future is ours, if only we get beyond the myopia of modern existence. Finally, there’s One of Us, a multi-dimensional love song that lays bare the paradox of complementarity and insularity within which we all live our lives: we are all alone, but we’re all in this together. There’s a lot happening on this album, if only you’re prepared to look.
 
BY PATRICK EMERY