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Waxing Gibbous (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

Malcolm Middleton's 2009 album starts with a brisk as heck guitar rush of a song, "Red Travellin' Socks," which only seems appropriate for a musician who's appeared to have had endless energy to burn over the years in and out of Arab Strap. (And as is only appropriate, the song is all about hating said socks because they're all about travel and being away from his girlfriend.) With that as a killer start, Middleton and company burn through a set of excellent songs with confidence, ranging from other quick-as-hell rundowns to calm reflection. His trademark mordant wit and sharpness remain intact — the spoken word break that runs through "Carry Me" covers everything from failed dreams of partying in Rio to regretting thinking of David Bowie "as a c**t," all addressed to a dead friend or lover, to name just one example of a song. (Titles include "Ballad of F**k All" and "Love on the Run," the latter being one heck of an album ender with its conflicted sentiments about an end-of-the-line romance.) Musically there's a beautiful range at work as well, with the piano-led downbeat anthem "Stop Doing Be Good" and the brisk chug and surge of "Shadows" among the many different routes explored.


Born: 31 December 1973 in Falkirk, Scotland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

In 2003, Malcolm Middleton, the member of Scottish indie pop group Arab Strap regularly credited with "most things musical," released the cumbersomely titled solo album 5:14 Fluoxytine Seagull Alcohol John Nicotine, issued through Chemikal Underground. It was the beginning of a prolific solo career for the Falkirk native who followed it up with the more focused Into the Woods in 2005. Neither album was a tremendous departure from his work with Aidan Moffat (both lyrically and sonically), though the...
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Waxing Gibbous (Bonus Track Version), Malcolm Middleton
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