For the previous few years Les and I had played with a spate of different drummers who all brought their own touch to the band. The latest was Jorden Tredray who was a young metal player and our sound was sort of headed that way – heavier and more locked in rhythmically and wilder sonically. I’d been coaxing curtains of feedback out of my Gretsch and getting a bigger sound and we recorded a bunch of songs I was working on. That line-up never really played live and it all sounded a bit stilted but the tracks were OK as demos.
They were a group of love songs I’d written.
Suddenly we have the best drummer in the country and the chance to record an album our own way making our own choices.
I think in terms of the Spines albums it is a perfect fit – it makes every other one sound unique and is a large piece of the Spines album puzzle.
Albums are these collections of songs and musicians of the time so much and Bloodmonster writes a whole chapter.
Here Comes My Ruth. It starts with that hefty guitar straight in your face. The vocal goes from light to dark and back. Primal tom toms and the best guitar solo I had ever done – infectious groove and a dark reminder of what’s to come.
Frida. The biggest little love song I’ve ever written. I love this song the way other people do and this is a heartfelt version.
Where She Walks. When we opened for the Buzzcocks we started with this song and just gave it heaps. It’s dumb telecaster rock to the max. Recorded live one take.
Identify My Love. Visualise her body from the windows of a place. A song from Holloway Road days and staunch.
Be With Me. Love song about a whirlwind trip to Christchurch then Dunedin and the Lama. Like Frida – totally unapologetic about being a lover in a cold world.
The Ghost Of Del Rey. The dream song with the sweet, sweet chord changes and Riki signals that he’s going to take the rest of the album into a new world with his drumming.
Subhuman Love. The circus arrives in the form of a riff from hell. The monster up from underneath where the miners are. Everything pent up from before is fully released in a dance.
If I Were You. The reptile brain. Trying to make sense of things over a few chords and calls. Making love with you in my mind…
I wound up taking two songs out of what I finally decided the album should be and I’ll most probably write about that next week…
The Ghost of Electricity – War Stories by Jon McLeary is a new initiative at Off The Tracks, a series of stories and reflections from painter, writer and musician Jon McLeary