Friday, 27 May 2011

Album Review: Bill Callahan - Apocalypse



In Apocalypse, Bill Callahan is like a singing tin can that has just been shot off a fence post by a fierce little shit with an air rifle and a badly sunburnt face. The boy wipes his snotty nose along one flannel shirt sleeve, spits some frothy white gob into the crabgrass and, in the style of John Wayne (his racist hero), walks over to the place where the target fell.

The pellet made two clean holes in the can, passing straight through it. The boy tells the can to get off its horse and drink its milk, then whispers an oath (to John Wayne) that the next hole he shoots in something will spurt warm living blood. He begins hiccup-laughing at the thought of it.

Ideally the boy would like to shoot a ginger person, someone with a withered hand and chronic depression, or some kind of rare owl; but he remembers seeing lots of frogs down by the pond and decides to go and shoot some of those instead.

The boy capers off to pond, leaving Bill Tin Callacan to roast in the sun. Lots of tiny little ants are running all over him... for some reason.

The boy finds the pond and waits for a frog to poke its eyes above the duckweed. One eventually does. ‘Get off your horse and drink your milk.’ The boy takes aim and shoots. The pellet misses the frog and hits a nearby weasel - which goes fucking nuts. The weasel strangulates the boy like a furry python, its teeth planted painfully into the little shit's nose. The weasel and the boy both scream, though for different reasons.

Ants are running all over Bill Tin Callacan. The scorching sun.

The boy goes limp; the weasel gets bored and goes off to play in a waterfall. The boy’s body lies next to the pond with the frogs that he intended to shoot; they croak.

Suddenly Bill Tin Callacan appears on a tree stump next to the dead boy, materializing out of thin air like a ghostly apparition or James Tiberius Kirk. The damage from the air gun pellet is gone, and a tin can-sized cowboy hat now sits snugly over his metal brim. He performes America!, my favourite song on Apocalypse (especially when he sings ‘what a marines’), for some reason similar to that thing with the ants.

I’m glad he does, because there isn't much else. Darwin Deez.

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