The Null Device

A Heavy Night With Relaxed Muscle

I've just had a chance to listen to the album by Relaxed Muscle, Jarvis, er, Darren Spooner's new project. It's the musical equivalent of a drag king show, with Darren playing a number of macho-man archetypes: the street brawler, the working-class battler, and fictional American adventure-story character Billy Jack; the only thing he doesn't do is rap about being a ghetto thug, but there are enough white guys doing that sort of thing with less of a sense of irony), and giving us tracks like "Rod of Iron", "Sexualized" and "Beastmaster". The music itself is a pastiche of manly man music (dirty blues-rock, working-class meat'n'potatoes rock, and a smattering of industrial-type electronics) mostly programmed on synths and drum machines (with a guitar or two in there from time to time), and no more than three chords in any track; all rather danceable and somewhat silly. It's not, as the UK Sun says, "goth", unless you could the first track sounding like they've borrowed some kit from Trent Reznor. It wouldn't surprise me if, with its dance-friendly sound and piss-take of masculinity, Relaxed Muscle was a big hit in some gay venues.

There are 4 comments on "A Heavy Night With Relaxed Muscle":

Posted by: Graham http://grudnuk.com/ Mon Jun 28 12:10:29 2004

Ah, so it's like Andrew WK with irony.

Posted by: acb http://dev.null.org Mon Jun 28 15:02:07 2004

Perhaps. Or maybe Electric Six with Groovebox/Electribe-type synths.

Posted by: gimbo http://gimbo.org.uk/ Wed Jun 30 10:31:57 2004

I always thought a Drag King was a female Elvis impersonator...

Posted by: acb http://dev.null.org Wed Jun 30 11:43:20 2004

No, it's the opposite of drag queens. Women (mostly lesbians) who dress up as ultra-butch male stereotypes (rednecks with big handlebar mustaches, truck drivers, gangbangers, and so on).

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