Scott Walker - Bish Bosch
Jan 9, 2020
88
Consider this review as more of a tribute to pay respects to the unmatched, unprecedented Scott Walker, he would've celebrated his 77th birthday today. His music will continue to live on forever..Rest In Peace man, the pain is over.

Hardly has there ever been an artist whose musical evolution proves to be quite as enticing as Scott Walker. Immaculately transitioning from 60s teen surf pop to eccentric avant-garde, all while maintaining some form of cultural relevance in the music industry and creative wit, is no ordinary feat. Yet, with all the shifts in artistic pursuit over the years, Scott Walker has only built himself up more and more, stacking building blocks on top of each other. Through experiences with various collectives such as The Walker Brothers and experimentation in his very own solo material, Scott Walker has managed to proficiently embrace his richly profound baritone voice and sharp instrumentation into a fully-transformed sound and aesthetic that's definitively Scott Walker. From surf pop, to baroque pop, to country pop, to new wave to dark ambient and drone metal, the man always seems to have something up his sleeves, up and ready to deliver.

With Scott Walker eventually succumbing to cancer before the turn of the decade, it seems that his final releases, Bish Bosch and Soused, serve more evidently as the final 'burst of flames' to a dying torch, with its horrific, misanthropic intensity. These set of records were among Scott Walker's most momentous moments, Bish Bosch being the ghoulish soundtrack to a bottomless hell of darkness and mass destruction in the eyes of a knowledgeable man who's seen the world for all its beauties and flaws.

There is an incredible, unsettling touch of authenticity and percipience that bleeds throughout this record among all the chaos and absence of coherency. Undoubtedly makes the nightmarish experience stunning, and chillingly powerful, in the most difficult-to-digest form possible. In regards to the horror aspect, Bish Bosch contains rather conventional elements in its sonic palette, including ominous, sparse instrumentation that share interesting similarities with Scott's other notable works: Tilt and The Drift. However, this hardly translates to anything accessible or penetrable musically. Scott Walker indulges in absolute vulgarity and cynicism, greatly reflective by the anxious sound of the record. Though Bish Bosch has its more intelligible moments on well-structured tracks like "Epizootics!", the core of the record blossoms in its sickening abnormalities, with the intention to upset, uncomfort, disgust and petrify!

It's difficult to imagine such an impenetrable record fit in with any other artist or personality besides Scott Walker. Taking a look at his trajectory in the music scene throughout the decades in detail, it doesn't come off quite as a surprise that Bish Bosch is the kind of record Scott Walker would be making at this point in his career and life. He's had a lot of life in him to reflect upon. What probably makes Bish Bosch so disturbing is the element of realism that surrounds such a record and Scott Walker. I don't hear the cries and pains of a fictional character, I hear the pains of a real man spiraling into a void. To think that I could one day walk in the same shoes and have the same fate as Scott Walker, after hearing Bish Bosch...is genuinely horrifying. But often, we have to face the truth, no matter how ugly and horrific it may be.

Bish Bosch is not an album that can be easily summed up or fully reviewed. Much of the content: the sound, the style, the lyricism (pretty much nonsensical gibberish from an outsider's POV), is certainly open for interpretation. From what I see, we may be laughing at the record now for its ridiculous absurdity, but deep down there are cryptic elements to be uncovered, and that is certainly no laughing matter! Once you've found yourself deep within Bish Bosch's reaches, best be prepared for the 70+ minutes of incredible musical torment in store!

Scott Walker, you absolute madman.

FAV TRACKS: Epizootics!, The Day The "Conducator" Died, Corps De Blah, SDSS1416+13B (Zercon, a Flagpole Sitter), 'See You Don't Bump His Head', Tar

LEAST FAV TRACKS: Pilgrim
Inglume's Tags
1 Comment
Jan 10, 2020
Brilliant review! Your last paragraph really resonates with me as I have yet to discover a portal that will allow me to fully appreciate what Walker accomplished on this LP. However, it took me a couple of decades to accept 'Pet Smiles' as a viable Pop Rock gem... So, god willing... I'm hoping for more time to fully discover what is contained within. Thanks for sharing.
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