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On Second Thought


he quakes destroying the earth and subsequent End Times were predicted by Nazareth on 1976’s “Vancouver Shakedown.” (‘Vancouver’ is in ‘BC’). “Jesus Christ was a forgiver / James Joyce was a mudslinger” sings Dan McCafferty on “Not Fakin’ It,” the second track on Loud’N’Proud, the fifth studio (and second 1973) album by those other steel-eyed Scottish seers, Nazareth. Michael Monroe (Artists United Against Apartheid) covered the song on his solo album, called Not Fakin’ It.

Guitarist Manny Charlton, who produced the great Canadian band Streetheart’s Under Heaven Over Hell, as well as released two solo albums of his own, Say the Word and Drool (on which he played guitar, bass, and keyboards, covered Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World,” and provided the cover photo), plays a really long solo on “Teenage Nervous Breakdown.” Nazareth’s covers were always great without ever indicating why they liked the original. “Turn on Your Receiver” includes the line “ain’t gonna waste my time saying it again,” then repeats the whole verse. The Portishead-like “Freewheeler” warns “quit thinkin’ ‘bout stoppin’ my drinkin’,” but they would’ve been deported if they used drugs touring the USA, so it’s not like they had a choice. The end is like “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man,” except less Matchbox 20.

“Child of the Sun” could’ve gone on Give Out But Don’t Give Up if that album had the saltire (the Stars’N’Bars with no stars and different colours) on the cover, and also if Bobby Gillespie sounded like Dan McCafferty. Cerys Matthews of Catatonia sounds a bit like Nazareth, and I liked very much how in the “Road Rage” video those tight green pants clung to her pissflaps. Some say this video never existed. “Child of the Sun” is like Cerys singing something on Dixie-Narco. “When are drug references going to get stale,” sniffed the writer as he massacred a 500g bag of pretzels. (“Drop out of life with bong in hand/ Follow the smoke to the riff-filled land / Proceeds the Weedian – Nazareth…Sacred Israel / Holy Mt. Zion” – Sleep, “Dopesmoker”)

Nazareth find a melody in a Joni Mitchell song on “This Flight Tonight.” Nazareth are massive in rural Canada where they understand drunken headbanging as the response to colonial oppression. When bars full of drunken hockey fans bellow “son of a bitch” at whoever’s playing “Hair of the Dog” that night, it is to witness the seeds of a new intifada. This sounds like other Joni Mitchell-influenced bands like Heart (“Barracuda”) and Led Zeppelin (“Achilles’ Last Stand,” “Going to California”).

The literal extermination of a traditional family occurs on the final track, “Ballad of Hollis Brown.” The lyrics are like Suicide’s “Frankie Teardrop” and the music is like Flipper (“If I Can’t Be Drunk,” “Ice Cold Beer”) with crisscrossing arcs of flanged feedback sawing through the rusting fuselage of the one-note (in different octaves, true) hulk of a bassline. If anyone knows if we Crusaders are fated to die for Enlightenment rationalism, Nazareth probably do.

By: Dave Queen

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Posted 03/02/2005 - 05:32:56 PM by jcrowther:
 Finally, Nazareth is revisited! Strangely enough, I was going to send a sample piece to Stylus pontificating on the genius of Nazareth's "Hair of the Dog." While I can send this piece no longer, I can find bliss in the fact that this song is even alluded to in a music article. Long live Nazareth!
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