Colin Zeal

Thanks to Starshaped it’s become impossible to hear the opening of this song about the “nasty little Colin Zeal” without images of a hungover and sweaty Damon, tie undone, nearly throwing up over his shoes. We can almost make out what he ate that day, and we won’t have to guess which liquids were consumed.

Of all their character songs, and there are many, this is one of the more mean-spirited ones. Not only is there straight name-calling (Colin Zeal is “ill” and “a modern retard”), but his trait of feeling pleased with himself when on time (his world is built round punctuality) is ridiculed with a contempt only a few, if any, of their other protagonists have had to deal with. He’s made to sound like a complete pain in the arse, really.

The music itself is odd. There’s a ska-like quality to the guitars during the verses (complemented by somewhat dubby Dave drumming), though they’re covered under a layer of melodically woven patterns anytime Damon isn’t taking the mic. For the chorus some power chords are whipped out. In fact, for all their talk about wanting to kill grunge with Modern Life Is Rubbish, there’s something distinctly quiet-loud-quiet about the song structure here, almost like Pixies (fronted by someone who can actually sing) attempting to write “A Well Respected Man” after listening to Sandinista! in its entirety. Twice.

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Published in: on June 3, 2007 at 9:33 am  Leave a Comment  

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