The Cure: Killing An Arab

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Apparently based on Albert’s The Outsider and, if so, quite possibly the straw that broke Camus’ back. Cymbals crash once, twice, three times. A guitar, full of eerie promises, slithering like the sprog of some belly-dancer and a poisonous reptile. Pause. Compact bass guitar motif, descending alone. Then those vocals – taut, terse, tense intonation, very much wired and emotional, the scream that a nervous system might make on the verge of metabolic breakdown. A voice like that feeling you get watching the faces on the workaday tube ride after stepping out at dawn for the third time without sleep. Clipped, concise urgency, occasionally cracking when it arrives at a word or phrase it considers particularly emotive – ain’t nothing but another beach party on an alien sandy shore! Kick off your Scholl sandals and listen. Monotonic chant:

Standing on the beach/With a gun in my hand/Staring at the sea/Staring at the sand/Staring down the barrel at the Arab on the ground/Can see his open mouth/But I hear no sound./I’m alive/I’m dead/I’m the stranger/Killing an Arab.”

And racism has got nothing to do with it.

© Tony Parson

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