I have a really weird relationship with this song. I first heard it earlier in the week during Part 3 of the Contrast Podcast Festive Fifty, where it was voted the 16th best song of 2009.
For the first minute or so, I hated it. Loathed it. For me, the first minute is the musical equivalent of fingernails on a blackboard, a dentist’s drill whirring behind your head. I can actually feel the cringe on my face when I hear it. If it hadn’t been part of a podcast I would’ve skipped the sucker without an ounce of regret, but it’s hard to fast forward an ipod when you’re driving, so I let it play on. And when those drums and oooooh-s kicked in, my hatred melted slightly and then when THAT guitar riff made its first swaggering appearance I was hooked. Totally won over. That’s gotta be one of the sexiest riffs out there. And that’s not something that occurs to me very often.
Ahem. So yes. I’ve now listened to this at least a dozen times throughout the day and while I still hate the bloody beginning, I’m almost, almost, able to stop cringing. Almost.
I’ve only heard bits and pieces of The Decemberists stuff before and haven’t really enjoyed what I’ve heard in the past, but they’re playing Big Day Out this month and I’ll be very keen to go check them out, even if this is the only song that does it for me!
Image from The Decemberists website