Sunday 22 May 2011

Makeshift - Love Is Everywhere? / Joke 7" NRG 13037, 1981

We have a tendency to go on a bit when it comes to records we're enthused about. Perhaps you've noticed. Today, though, the facts we can relay aren't commensurate with our enthusiasm for this obscure DIY punker. Makeshift made a great record, and we know bugger all about it. But, as believers in the scientific method, allow us to propose some hypotheses which fit the available data:

  1. This is a Sydney record (we presume as much because our copies were found there);
  2. Paul Makeshift, one-time drummer for the Babeez, is no relation (see hypothesis 1);
  3. Listening to the sound file below will lead to the prompt addition of this 45 to your wants list.

Alternatives to our H0s about location and membership are welcome - info that leads to acceptance/rejection of the null even more so. After all, our prevailing theories about this record haven't always been well-founded. For example, our presumption that Makeshift was a one-man show doesn't stand up to closer scrutiny - there are at least two distinct voices orbiting the melody as Love is Everywhere? concludes.

Which leads us to the song in question, something of an unheralded classic of Australian DIY, making hypothesis 3 a no-brainer. The singer's a conflicted young chap, caught between wanting to live life at full speed and knowing he'll only be punished with bloodied knees and wounded pride when he does. Which of course is a metaphor for his form with the sheilas. Love is everywhere; he can feel it in his extremities, just not in the anatomy that counts, and since he's "not vicious enough to be Casanova" he only has himself to blame. The vocal performance contributes to the tension between bitterness and resignation played out in the lyrics (" I go again"), as do the assertive downstrokes and contrasting tentative guitar fumbling which drive the song. Then there's the relentless drum machine, which stops for nothing short of the volume control on the mixing desk (there's a lesson there for our protagonist). In short, a loser rant propelled by amateur guitar hacking and an in-the-red Dr Rhythm - "an NRG release", indeed.

A second single exists, though we can't recommend it. Makeshift seemingly evolved into a real band playing real songs, recorded at a real studio with a real producer. It's a real bummer.

Love is Everywhere? [Download]

NRG: beating The Able Label at its own game.

Addendum, 24 May 2011
Price in pencil on the label + big circular sticker stain + frayed top edge + instant dust cloud when removed from the sleeve = Gould's Book Arcade.

RIP Bob Gould.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice record, but I nothing about it. Sad to hear about Bob Gould, I bought mobs of records from him over the years.