“Eugene” has been around the block. I don’t know if I’m supposed to keep his anonymity but in this internet age, to retain any shred of anonymity is no mean feat so, yeah. Eugene it is. If you’re familiar with his previous work then you know that voice anyway, that vulnerable baritone purr that snuggles in the bottom of your gut.

Whereas debut ep Eugene Otto Quell floated about itself, happy in a kind of summer reverie, Uselessness is a little more direct. “Alta Loma” is full of the kind of beautiful wrangled robo-cat guitar noise I haven’t enjoyed since Cable or Desaparecidos. You may have read all the hype around lead track “That One Song”, you may have given it a little preview and given yourself to the fuzz, the kind of lazy brilliance that renews your lease on youth for all of two minutes, but it’s songs like “And There Goes The Drugs” that make me want to take a vow of silence, forget I ever tried to arrange a set of chords or words, forget I ever tried because its so beautifully effortless I don’t see the point. A Great Uselessness is the sound of a man having fun with his pain in a way that I will never understand. He leaves me dazed.

Slacker is the wrong word. Give-a-fucker maybe more appropriate. There is no slack here, just a rare mouth that knows all the secret routes to all the right words and has a mainline to the unknown core of my being. I’m not sure he ever cared if we liked his work. Real love expects nothing and everything he does is a work of broken and battle hardy love, hidden in plain view, the kind of blatant mystery that surrounded rebel characters in the 50s, an effortless cool riding a beautiful brooding beast. The guy’s a synesthetic poet. Every combination of words and sounds makes me feel oddly uneasy, like different parts of my body are communicating in a way they never have before. Stirrings may occur in the gut or the heart but rarely in both places at once.

The only disappointment for me is the programmed drums. Literally. That’s it. It’s not that they detract from the music, I’m just a knob of a purist with drums.

So whatever, as with his past works, this may not be for everyone. But if you like your pop straight up and raw, naked but for a humble, shining cloak, then do everything you can to track down every sound associated with this man.

     
  • Review by Andrew Misuraca Faraldo