All good music takes you on a journey. Mostly you are able to choose your level of involvement. No Way Back To Lunch runs to 12 minutes and by the end I wasn’t sure if I had walked voluntarily through this latest offering from the depths of Dale Barclay’s musical experiences, or been lead through on a leash.
The track starts with brain shaking feedback leading into a slow drum beat and thrumming keyboard, I am instantly drawn from my comfortable seated position in my living room directly across from the source of the music, to find myself standing in a scene from Saw or Hotel. A dungeon like image is described in a strong Scottish accent with animal sounds reverberating in the background. Dale Barclay’s vocals always portrayed the image of a troubled individual, the victim of his circumstances, this time around he is clearly in control of his situation. “It’s feeding time” is screamed as a call to the horrors my imagination is now producing. Where will this lead? A bell rings and I await the next phase of this journey.
Ghostly vocals stress the hopelessness of my situation as the song title is repeated. The pace picks up and the drums now pummel me into a corner before fading out behind a guitar shaped kick to the head. I come to in a restaurant. Lead by the perpetrator of my previous beating. An acid trip of delights are described as we sit down to dine at “the ususal table”, “blue cheese dipped in Irn Bru”. It’s David Lynch meets Irvine Welsh. No holds barred. The others in the room seem oblivious to the events unfolding at our table. Then we are out and home again. Home? Ha. It’s the location of my internment and I’m still being lead by that same leash.
A band appears in the corner of this darkened room and I sit watching as they play a fast paced guitar and drum finale, leading to a crescendo before fading to minimalist feedback.
Suddenly I am released to sit back in my living room. All is quiet and clean. But I can’t unhear what I’ve just heard. Thankfully.