Friday, December 5, 2008

Giant Sand, "Increment of Love" (#24)

"Increment of Love"
(Howe Gelb)
Giant Sand

Howe Gelb is a master of mixing the creepy with the funny, as evidenced on his excellent solo album Sno Angel Like You. Here he slows down Dick Dale and throws him into a minor key--"surfing on the waves of a lava head" about sums it up--and crawls into your veins to check out the scenery. Then he pulls cells out of your lips and stores them, against their will, in a Mason jar.

The lead guitar parts accomplish what I was always trying to get at in songs like "I Am Bound to Her," which is to say that they sound restrained but they're really going off the rails, the sound of a stress headache or obsession or oblivion. Truth is, I'm overwrought in my song, but Gelb is the model of restraint; you barely notice his electric squawking, hidden as it is behind his Tom Waits whisper and the horns filling out the mix.

It's a mood song more than anything else--there's no melody, and the lyrics don't, as far as I can tell, have any real meaning. But what a mood. The song is perfect for hanging out in someone's bushes at 2 a.m.

No comments: