nice n’ sleazy – the stranglers

A sinister bass line is a heck of a tool for a rock band to have in their tool kit. The Stranglers specialise in dark and gothy cartoonish polemics in their songs and Nice N’ Sleazy from 1978’s Black And White album is prime Stranglers.

The groove is cold and modernist, This isn’t a blues number, this is a late 20th century construct of late night videodrome horror movies and second hand EC Comics.

Those austere electronics on the keyboards evoke images of David Lynch’s Eraserhead until they wig out halfway through like a malfunctioning 16 bit computer game.

The strange funk of the bass lets every other instrument roam up and down the tune at various points except the vocal.

The first line ‘We Came Across The West Sea, We Didn’t Have Much Idea Of The Kind Of Climate Waiting’ delivered as dispassionately as the last ‘He Spoke Of Brothers Many, Wine And Women Song A Plenty, He Began To Write A Chapter, In History’

Is this song about Conquistadors colonising the natives in the new world? Or is it about a rock band on tour? Or is the whole thing just intended like so many Stranglers songs to give you a creepy feeling up the spine as it plays.

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