Imagine Arab Strap jamming with the Bad Seeds after a wild night in some dive bar they’ll never find again. Think of a tighter Birthday Party reeling elegantly from chorus to verse yet smashing the furniture up in the process. Iggy struts and Jacques Brel drains the optics. Pure White Speed will keep you awake. And knock you out.
There are two sides to every story and the Cesarian’s offer both on two discs (artwork by Saatchi art-star Jonny Green). Ray Staff (David Bowie, Led Zeppelin) masters and Teo Miller (Blur, Placebo, Penthouse) mixes prowling piano and intricate strings, honking stabs of brass and pile thundering drums. Gentle melodies settle, dragster-noise bass snorts and cutting his way through the rising smoke, Charlie Finke dispenses lyrical exhilaration, paranoia and bliss, restlessness and rapture.
Pure White Speed opens all the wounds that the Cesarian’s eponymous predecessor (recorded by Craig Leon in Abbey Road) could only briefly show you. It goes deeper. It cuts, it bleeds, it hurts, it soothes. It gives a sudden rush then introspection follows, it tells you to fuck off then wants you in its arms. It has poison on its lips but it makes the pain go away. Try it once. Then take it again.