CD: Go-Kart Mozart - On the Hot Dog Streets

Latest perverse missive from tenacious former Felt man Lawrence

by Kieron Tyler, 25 June 2012


Bloopy Seventies synths. Glitter Band drums. The fuzz guitar of Sweet's "Blockbuster". Eighties electro-robot-pop. New wave chug. The hot dog streets of West Bromwich. Morning TV. Bailiffs at the door, The secularisation of institutions and the decline of civic pride. Mickie Most and his plastic pop. These then, are amongst the contents of the new tablet handed down by former Felt leader, perennial underdog and über-cult figure Lawrence. Bizarre and enjoyable, it's disquieting too. "Hello, I'm Lawrence and I'm taking over" he declares colourlessly.

A series of close-typed, dense paragraphs detail Lawrence's cultural jumping off points during the making of the album: the books The Role of Anxiety on Obsessive Compulsive Disorders and Poloneck Sweat; the records Scorpio Rising (Paul Ryan) and "Do the Kangaroo" (La La); a list of "and alsos" including pet likes and hates. Most are real. Some are fabrications. Lyrically, the album is arch, sometimes so much so that it veers into the creepy and disturbing. On "I Talk With Robot Voice" he's "still susceptible to vagina's allure" despite being "sick and tired of their [girl's] abuse". Elsewhere, "women bring the men down to their knees". Satire as a form of confessional therapy.

The protracted birth of On the Hot Dog Streets was seen in the documentary Lawrence of Belgravia, as was Lawrence's relationship with the world, who he is and - most importantly - what he aspires to be. Whatever he thinks or hopes, a Kate Moss isn't going to come his way. His life and circumstances - the film didn't shy away from his relationship with drugs and his mental health issues - haven't derailed Lawrence's singular and obtuse vision, and wilful work ethic. This is the third Go-Kart Mozart album. Felt were prolific, Go-Kart Mozart's precursors Denim less so. Lawrence's time might yet come, but the singular On the Hot Dog Streets won't bring that moment closer.

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