The Mohawk Lodge : Damaged Goods
'Damaged goods' is such a great expression; from its innocuous beginnings to describe stock not fit for regular sale, to its evolution as a euphemism to describe the human detritus that combs the floors of the average suburban nightclub looking for any tactile experience that might masquerade as emotional attachment, it has a natural discursive resonance.
The Mohawk Lodge’s latest record, Damaged Goods, might not fit either of those scenarios directly, but it does have a certain weathered style that can be located within a broader analogous context. Howling At the Moon speeds off down the highway with Thunder Road-like consistency; Wild Dogs is Eddie Cochrane with a healthy dose of New York garage punk in his veins. Light You Up holds you in its arms and welcomes you into the soft lights of Californian rock, c1978. Using Your Love is a lament for the good times that have been suffocated by all the bad shit you never want, but seems to happen anyway.
The title track is a finger-pickin’, bar-booze-and-grass metaphorical warning to anyone wise enough to understand the perils of myopic fascination; Hard Love could be Henry Wagons, if Henry was a rustic ruminating philosopher from British Columbia; Believe In Love is probably ironic, though who really knows when you’re so far down in the bowels of emotional desolation to give a shit anymore. Gold Rivers stumbles out of the depressive fog, knocks back a couple of single malts, jumps in a hotted up jalopy with Lindsay Buckingham and kicks some serious arse. Voodoo is dirty, and maybe a bit pissed off; 1000 Violins is maudlin, and dark. It’s damaged, but still standing, and ready to see another day. Life’s like that, I suppose.
BY PATRICK EMERY
Best track: Howling At the Moon.
If you like these, you’ll like this: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, WAGONS AND BILLY CHILDISH. In a word: Damaged