Apathy Jack writes:
So, I decided I would compile a top five list: Albums To Have A Nervous Breakdown To. (Look, the government gives me long holidays, I have to do something to keep my mind occupied...)
In no particular order, here we go:
The Loneliest of Creatures – Dr Kevorkian and The Suicide Machine
Probably the bleakest record I’ve ever heard, this concept album tells the tale of a space probe billions of miles from Earth. It sees an Earth-like planet, and attempts to make contact with Houston to send back the information. There is no reply, maybe because the probe is too far out, maybe because Houston is no longer listening, or maybe because there’s no one left on Earth to receive the signal. Running out of power, the probe sends one last message back to Earth, then dies alone in space.
Of the six tracks on The Loneliest of Creatures, only two have vocals, and there is even a paucity of actual instruments at times, much of it being composed of ambient noise of various sorts. And it’s still the saddest goddamn thing I’ve ever heard.
Sometimes I listen to the Dr Kev album The Ironman as I go to sleep. I once substituted The Loneliest of Creatures.
I’m not in any hurry to have those dreams again...
Music To Crash Cars To – Deathboy
If your taste for the bleak needs more in the way of lyrics, this album may be what you’re looking for. With the relentlessly cheerful We Will Destroy to kick the album off, it isn’t long before Scott Deathboy is singing “I want to knife a pop star, I want to rape a girl band, I want to kill on TV, to make you understand”.
This album also contains the single most depressing song I’ve ever heard: The hideously upsetting Lost Again.
Sweet Heart Dealer – Scarling
I wracked my brain trying to describe this EP, but the best I could come up with was that if a small girl was brutally killed, then came back not quite right, and was very angry about a lot of things, and decided to form a band, it would probably be Scarling.
However, poking around their website, I found a quote from someone called Alternative Press that sums it up even better: “Scarling sounds like being French- kissed by the most beautiful beings in the world, and then being unable to stop the bleeding.” I still wince a little every time I listen to Band Aid Covers The Bullet Hole – and I’ve listened to it a lot of times...
Come In And Burn – The Rollins Band
Here it is, on the news
Someone I know is now someone I knew.
Can’t believe it happened again.
Henry Rollins, as those familiar with his work will know, is not a happy man, and this, to my mind, is the album that most directly points this out.
Songs like Starve and Inhale Exhale are about bettering oneself, but there is never any pretense that improvement is not necessary: He must improve himself because he is not good enough. More directly than any of the others I’ve mentioned, this is an album about loneliness, self-loathing and desperation, presented in as angry a way as is humanly possible.
Now, of course, I come up against a wall. I only have four albums for this supposed top five. For a while, I was considering Rust: A Fiction, by The Mercy Cage, which is certainly a very dark record. But, really, in terms of sound-tracking a Nervous Breakdown, the only real contender is the horribly, horribly depressing Needle Marks (and Scars) – easily the second most depressing song I’ve ever heard (between Lost Again and Band Aid Covers The Bullet Hole). The rest of the album reminds me of nothing so much as being alone in a small dark room when it’s raining outside, but the other tracks don’t jump out at me in as distinctive a way.
So, here’s where it gets interactive: School starts again shortly, and, as we all know, my poor coping mechanisms mean I fold like a bad hand of poker at the first sign of stress. So what should I be listening to as I do so? What should I be singing to myself over and over again while I hide under my desk and pull out clumps of my own hair and possibly the hair of others?
I’ll buy whichever CD gets the most compelling recommendation.
(Sundries: I’m interested primarily in whole albums. Sure, even the examples I mentioned have a few tracks each of dead air, but I’d prefer there to be a majority of tracks that fit the criteria, rather than “This one song...”. Also, it would help if this was something I could get at Borders or Real Groovy. Shinjuku Thief’s second album is probably terribly upsetting, but I can’t lay my hands on a copy without effort, and I don’t like effort...)