Goodbye Mr. MacKenzie: Glory Hole
Goodbye MrMacKenzie: Glory Hole
The original version of this album has been like the search for the Holy Grail for many Goodbye Mr MacKenzie fans for years now. The success of their return to the live scene and the reissue of their debut album Good Deeds and Dirty Rags seems to have sparked demand for this rarity once again. While finalists will always strive to get this rare copy on resale sites (it has a slightly different track listing and release order), for the most part this will fill that Glory Hole gap in their collection with its long-awaited and well-deserved remaster and reissue, with new artwork courtesy of Maria Rud. Glory Hole is a huge powerhouse of an album, brimming with raw explosive energy.
For a band that has already released a live album called “On the Day of Storms”, Glory Hole has a band bringing the sound of thunder crashing from dark, ominous clouds, with vital raw energy and a passion reminiscent of the likes of The Stooges Raw Power.
Right off the bat the “thunder” is present, a deeply resonant drum beat and a flurry of Johnny Thunders style riffs present Prince of Wales, if you didn’t know better you’d be forgiven for thinking this song featured a vocal from Richard Butler, Martin’s deeply rich baritone timbre resembling the leader of the Psychedelic Furs.
Throughout the album, Martin’s familiar brogue takes on different characteristics depending on the demands of the song, from spitting venom on She’s Got Eggs, creating an ominous growl on Smile, to soaring on Space. Neurotic.
Special mention must go to Kelly and Fin’s powerfully convincing rhythm section, this album gives particularly good insight into their shrill penetrating playing, forming a solid impenetrable foundation for the songs, while giving them an often sinister dark gothic edge.
Mix that with Bowie’s influence on Martin, his love for rock’s late great chameleon was never a secret, so much so that the epic Space Neurotic sometimes sounds like Bowie taking on a Love-era Killing Joke. Like Blood.
She’s Got Eggs is one of the highlights of the album for me, it’s a blistering start, introducing Martin’s seething vocals spitting out rage-filled lyrics uninhibited. Whatever the object of Metcalfe’s anger on this song, it’s the perfect cathartic listen for anyone feeling growing frustration with anyone in their life. “How many times can a little piece of shit enter everyone’s life and have an effect on it” indeed. And it must surely be the only song to name Johnny & Fanny Craddock (young people – ask your parents about Fanny’s donuts)
As well as bringing this collection of songs to a new audience that missed out on Glory Hole the first time around, the album also introduces us to what was to come later in the form of Isa & the Filthy Tongues/The Filthy Tongues, the demo of the peculiarity of Call Me taking on a completely different look than the version with Stella on vocals.
Essential Goodbye Mr. MacKenzie
It’s an essential part of the Goodbye Mr MacKenzie story, the missing piece of the puzzle for pipers who’ve been desperately trying to acquire a copy for years. More than that though, it’s just an excellent collection of edgy rock tinged with raw muscle goth, the sound of a band with a fire in the belly.
All the words of Neil Hodge. More of Neil’s writings on Louder Than War can be found in his author’s archives. You can also find Neil online at his blog legingerquiff.