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A Heavy Nite With... is the one and only album by Relaxed Muscle who formed in 2002, gigged in 2003 and sort of disappeared after the release of A Heavy Nite With.. towards the end of 2003.
Often passed off as a bit of fun as many side-projects are I feel that this album is very under-rated, the lyrical content, grimey feel and quality music ensures that this electro album is up there with the best of them.
Relaxed Muscle consist of Jarvis Cocker (need I say Pulp?) and Jason Buckle (All Seing I, Fat Truckers & a cameo role in Harry Potter), they used the pseudonyms Darren Spooner and Wayne Marsden and billed themselves as "The Sound of Young Doncaster" and claimed to have met whilst planting flowers, doing community service for burglary. With Relaxed Muscle's darkened image (black make up and skeleton suits), songs about domestic violence, alcoholism, drug addiction and gambling this fitted in well and they pulled it off, even going on Shooting Stars where Darren was labeled "the weed in the tweed". The live act included Darren smashing sugar bottles on other band members heads and karate chopping wood.
Anyway here is the lowdown:
1 - The Heavy, starts off with a superb beat and whispered "Heavy", spoken like a dirty old man down the telephone, the song is about the police and the catchy chorus of "This is going to be a heavy night, I've seen the future and it's not bright" booms out in a cheerful manner in comparison with some of the more threatening tones such as "The place is heavy man, I'm feeling great, don't **** with me, cos I'm a heavyweight", "Heavy users never go to heaven, Jesus Christ it's only half eleven"
2 - 3 Way Accumulator - Not a big fan of the other syntheisized effects on this track but the lyrics are pretty catchy and strong if not completely bizarre again, even from the start.. I've got a three way accumulator and now the race is on, so I think I'll see ya later, with no panties on and a bit later: I wanna pool my winnings on a woman just like you, it's only the beginning, my tote is coming through, by tv, by car, lose the stockings, lose the bra, cos we passed the winning post about an hour ago"
"Let it Ride" and "Keep your Blinkers on" are regularly blurted out and the whole song continues with the strange theme of horse racing and pulling two birds.
7/10 - pretty amusing but the Cher style voice does the head in abit unless you're into it
3 - Beastmaster - Starts off with a pumping beat worthy of Pink Grease, Simian or Ladytron, Jarvis is belting it out here amongst various animal noises. It all starts off with..
I know you heard about the boogaloo
I know you heard about the hustle too
But here's a new dance that you can do
If you wanna rule the street
and somehow finishes off with
Gonna stroke you
Ahh, ha ha ha
Look at me
Are you housetrained?
I'm gonna stroke you
followed by plenty of ah ha, animal noises (zoo and farmyard) and the same amazing beat from the start, that's the kind of song it is. It's the Beatmaster and it's not bad!!!
4 - Billy Jack
An outstanding electro track, expressive lyrics, cowboy gunshot sounds flying around complete with an extremely weird video available on youtube which seems to get right up the noses of western fans!
Snidey and dramatical sounding "My name is Billy Jack, get back or I will attack", "You Wanna Mess with Billy, Man your being Silly" and "I'm gonna put you in your grave" are a focal point of the song but there's also the more story telling info at the beginning - legendary combos like
This is where the rabbit teach the eagle a lesson
with this Smith and Wesson
Longbow or shotgun
Bowie knife or pistol
Time to buy a wake my friend
'Cos I'm chewing on your gristle
add to the whole fun, who needs Clint Eastwood when you have this? 9/10
5 - Rod of Iron
Another brilliant electro track, supposedly about "ruling my woman with a rod of iron" but deers (stags, deers, does seem to feature regularly) i.e.
I tell you one thing
And I ain't lying
I rule my woman with a rod of iron
Antlers clash at the break of dawn
A stag abase, no man at all
Stir in my porridge
She'll stash your swine (?)
Take your hands off what's all mine, all mine, all mine
The live show for this song was supposed to be particularly gruesome but I've never seen it, so can't comment. I know the beat really rocks and it's another strong track.
6 - Tuff It Out - An electro hit which sounds more like early 80's, there's even a hint of rockabilly about it for some reason. The subject matter as far as I can make out is a domestic argument but around 2:25, the track turns into a mad fairground like zone. A bit repetitive for my liking.
Don't come inside, don't touch me, it's frightening
Don't go outside, you'll get struck at by lightning
You don't know what to do
What this is coming to
You're so confused but you know you're gonna have to:
Tuff it out
Oh, tuff it out
Oh oh oh, tuff it out
Ah, babe you gotta tuff it out
7 - Sexualized
Complete anarchy of a song, heavy on drums and muffled sounds, out of tune guitar playing, the lyrics aren't even that great but somehow it works out well.
The girls in FHM are sexualized
Take a look at them, they're all sexualized
On the TV it's all sexualized
Everything that I see is all sexualized
Oh, I gotta shut my eyes
'cos everywhere I look
It's all sexualized
I said, oh, I gotta shut my eyes
'cos everywhere I look
It's all sexualized
8 - Muscle Music
Muscle Music has a sort of Ant Music feeling about it, ambulance sounds from the start to finish, a bizarre overall sound which ends up as somewhere between a Gary Glitter hit (if I'm still allowed to use his name), that school favourite - heads, shoulders, knees and toes and a mad northern bloke. It's pretty enjoyable, the simplicity and lack of complicated lyrics seems to suit well to the music.
Work your body
Work your body 'till it drops
You can't buy this stuff in shops
You gotta feel the pain
Feel the pain
And then you do it again
9 - B-Real
A sort of almost Blur sounding track about a man who wants to give up drinking and being a slob and become a sort of trendy character reading books and spending time with the family. The battle continues when he has to pick his teeth up from the floor and eat a stone baked pizza.
Legendary track 9/10
10 - Previous
Jarvis has a haunting voice on this track, it's about a bloke going to prison, it's a slow track, a rare thing for this album but it's still a winner.
11 - Battered
A song about getting drunk and fighting which is somehow a slow acoustic piece and almost sounds like Leonard Cohen singing, different from other songs on the album but the variety spices up the album. 7/10
12 - Mary
My favourite track on the album, the singer rings up his wife (ex-wife?) Mary to tell her his son has met him in the street and didn't recognise him but tried to sell him drugs. It's a slow electronic track but has hints of hippyness on the chorus of "Mary"
Now I, I like a bit of fun now and then
And I know sometimes I have too much
And I know things are different now
But drugs Mary
Quality track. 10/10
All in all, an excellent British side-project that definitely shouldn't be forgotten and should have received more success!
For more suggestions on up and coming bands or hidden gems, check out my blog: www.jungleofjohns.blogspot.com
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 The Heavy
2 Let it Ride
4 Billy Jack
5 Rod Of Iron
6 Tuff It Out
8 Muscle Music