REVIEW: Still Warm – “Screaming White”

By JHR

Chain Border

Screaming WhiteThe sky over Still Warm is the colour of a bathtub tuned to a particularly filthy gas-fitter's mate. Then the television explodes in a shower of guitar solos that could have been atmospheric if they'd been re-tuned after being left outside all night in the van. As it is, they're a bit damp and don't light properly. (Bands! Keep your guitar-solos in airtight tin boxes and away from children and animals!) The rest of the night passes in a fog of king-skins, Stella and bad television – it had been a long day trying to re-work a set of distribution fittings while wading in the sludge of some unfortunate industrial process.

Morning brings shouting and a swift game of guitar-riff tennis over the breakfast table as the people from next door come over to borrow a cupful of EL34 valves for their Marshall stacks. Then it's all hockey-masks and serial-killer voice effects as the band charge out of the door to discover that some miscreant has replaced the driveway with rubber. Before they know it, they're bouncing all over the place and failing dismally to retain any small semblance of 'Rock!' dignity. Boing boing boing splat ow bastard, they go, as the momentum of rushing out the door like they were Spinal Tap ("Alright suburbia! Are you ready to... Bugger! Mind yerselves!") carries them downslope in great bounding arcs toward the roadway.

Eventually they crawl into the van and have a half hour cig-break, whining and guitar-mending session, before the luckless drum-machine programmer is sent out to crawl carefully back up the lawn to put the rubbish out and lock up. He sustains only minor abrasions for his trouble. The argument over which mall to visit takes up the next half hour and seems to involve driving round in circles listening to Rush and Metallica in turn, depending on who has control of the CD player in the back of the van. Since all malls are the same, it's largely irrelevant. Thinking about it, there's probably only one mall and a set of disguised space/time wormholes. That's why dressing like some ponce from 1973 is back in 'fashion' – the wormholes have gone slightly out of alignment and there's a 30-year timeslip happening.

On the way to the mall, guitar-bloke thinks it would be a good idea to emulate parts of 'Priscilla, queen of the desert' and perform a solo from the roof of the van while traveling at thirty miles per hour. They gaffer-tape his boots to the roof-rack, lace him firmly in and set off with a video camera pointing out through the sunroof. At first, it looks dead good. All windswept and technical as the shadows cast by the cement works make it look like he's floating across the surface of some alien industrial planet powered by nothing but the Spirit of 'Rock!' Then the police hove into view and immediately take a dim view of the proceedings. Van-drivery-bloke panics, heaves the vehicle down a sidestreet and floors it. Guitar-bloke is pitched backwards into a particularly odd position that looks like it should be featured in a book of high-speed van-yoga, which means he cannons into the combo amp similarly taped to the roof-rack. It's wrenched free and flies by the magic of comedy into the windscreen of the following police car.

Now they're really in trouble. Half the band leg it from the van, get their hair cut and seek out new careers in real estate and aluminum siding. Those left drive to Mexico. By playing in a mariachi-styled industrial cover band at night, they put themselves through dentistry college and set up shop near the US border. Over the years, they make a name for themselves in the dental tourism trade, which allows them to offer free care to those from their adopted homeland who are unable to pay.

The videotape of the entire van incident later surfaces on 'Kirsty's Home Videos' in the UK, where it wins £200. Which really is all the money that this lot should make from the rock & roll business.

Contact Information:
Post: Dekonstruction Records, 1817 Oak Trl W, Apt 206, Clearwater, FL, 33764-7551, USA
Phone: (727) 530-3498
E-Mail: dekonrec@lycos.com
Web: http://dekonrec.tripod.com

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