It may be bookended with two atonal noise-poems for solo guitar, but ‘Nothing Important’’s title track has a superficial air of progginess, with its tragicomic autobiographical content and gargantuan length. “A toby jug filled to the brim with curtain hooks / A sheepskin rug discoloured with tobacco smoke,” croons Newcastle’s Richard Dawson, although with little of the pathos that a more literal artist might have adopted to relay such an image. For, the pathos – if there’s any at all – of Dawson’s narration is continually displaced by this parade of objects, unheeding and aloof. And, likewise, Dawson’s taut, muscular music is heard not in the abstract but within the unavoidable context of the physicality of its creation.

The knotted guitar lines contain all the pain of blistering fingers, all the force of splintering wood and the howl of his vocals thrusts up against the very limits of his bodily capabilities; chaotically disintegrating to the point of ecstasy. ‘Nothing Important’ is a rhapsody of the material, the messy, and the intensely human.


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