Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Burning On: Mud: "Dyna-Mite"

The main virtue of rock 'n' roll is that it's not supposed to be about technical excellence at its heart (though that can be stupefying, goodness knows) but about a kind of knowing-wink look, a sense that maybe what is happening is a little...dangerous

Mud aren't dangerous; certainly with this song the woman in question is explosive, but Les Gray's voice doesn't shriek or go camp - it is a plain voice (one from quiet suburban Carsharlton, no less) and poses no threat to any order whatsoever.  And so the woman's impact is tempered, made suggestive somehow, because of Gray's calm. 

This Chinn/Chapman song (rejected by The Sweet for being not quite rocking enough, I guess) sounds a little like Status Quo, a little like Suzi Quatro - when the Glam template was fresh every song was distinctive, but now that it has been worn smooth it has become a genre, as opposed to a movement.  Glam was still big enough to have real force in the charts (this was a #2 on the Radio Luxembourg hit parade) to matter and wasn't going away anytime soon (see the next two entries here) but emotionally it had to be more ooomphy than this (though the music going "on and on and on and on" with the Gray's voice going up and up each time is at least a good try). 

The sophisticated velvet goldmine era of T.Rex has given way to this handclapping/vaguely intimidating ode to a woman who can turn on a whole damn town, not just one man, with her flashing eyes and radiance - so much so that no one knows if she's "wrong or right" as she is so overwhelming.  This is again a woman-as-spectacle song (nowhere in the narration is there any interaction between the narrator and the woman) - she tells you to boogaloo and you do, and that's that.  She comes from nowhere and is beholden to no one.  She is a flash in the sky, but it's too bad the song is durably rock 'n' roll but not much more than that; this song is in The Void, as far as I can tell, for being too neat and tidy about a woman who is anything but.  She's on fire, as Alicia Keys will one day sing, and as Gray gets across backhandedly. 

Next up:  groove on me what?

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