The Real Tuesday Weld – The Last Werewolf

The Real Tuesday Weld - The Last Werewolf

The Real Tuesday Weld - The Last Werewolf

The Real Tuesday Weld’s last coupling with author Glen Duncan, for 2003’s innovative I, Lucifer book soundtrack, was undoubtedly a creative marriage made in heaven (as well as being hell-orientated in its conceptual construction of course).  For those of us that fell for the debonair darkness, mischievous misanthropy and elegant eclecticism for I, Lucifer, there has remained a feeling of unfinished business, given just how well Duncan’s decadent dry-witted tale focused Stephen Coates’ borderline-unique musical vision.  But thankfully here we are again at last, with The Real Tuesday Weld’s soundtrack to Duncan’s almost literally rip-snorting novel, The Last Werewolf.

Whereas the aforementioned score to I, Lucifer reflected the printed story’s sophisticated juxtapositions and wry amoral musings in largely intimate and nocturnal musical arrangements, The Last Werewolf is a significantly different beast.  Energetically – with the aide of adroit guest players and extra vocalists – Coates has embraced the more widescreen remit of the new book’s globe-trotting adventuring, carnality, humour, romance and loss.  Coates and compadres have even bravely attempted to follow the narrative order of the novel across the nineteen strictly sequenced tracks.

As with I, Lucifer, this new soundtrack weaves together scene-setting instrumentals, snippets of dialogue from the book (read by Duncan and others) and a raft of connective songs.  However, this time around there are as many surprises as there are pleasing familiarities and refinements.  Certainly, the scorching wailing “Wolfman” – placed just after an opening sliver of conversation from the book – will scare the bejesus out of long-time fans, as guest vocal-cord-shredder Joe Coles howls lupine-like over a cacophony transmitted straight from Tom Waits’ basement.  Having broken down his self-built walls from the near-beginning, Coates conducts the rest of proceedings with razor-sharp single-mindnessness working in parallel with gleeful abandonment.  Hence, his electronic impulses have become looser yet more demonstrative, giving us the Detroit-via-Dusseldorf techno-pop of “Love Lust Money” and the gorgeous sad-eyed pulsing of “Tear Us Apart.”  Elsewhere, there are even vague hints of Bruce Springsteen on the uplifting anthemic “You’re Going to Live” and dark indirect homages to ‘80s 4AD through “Time Of The Month” and “The Cruellest Month.”

Such fresh stylistic stretching isn’t however at the expense of The Real Tuesday Weld’s core musical idioms though. But even when waltzing inside the near-trademark chanson of “(I Always Kill) The Things I Love” or driving along with the Django Reinhardt-indebted gypsy-jazz of “The Hunt,” there is a new sense of confidence and expertise that gives the gathered cast room to be simultaneously professional and playful.  Moreover, although Coates creates lots of space for perhaps technically better singers – like Pumajaw’s Pinkie Maclure on the soulful sibling-like “Save Me” and “Let It Come Down” – his own tones have gained a richer and warmer resonance too, as notably captured inside the mournful piano-led introspection of “The Ghosts” and within the blissfully amorous “Come Around.”

Whilst The Last Werewolf is undeniably the best album from The Real Tuesday Weld since its satanically-themed de facto prequel, it’s clear that the interim years have been essential in studiously refining and expanding Stephen Coates’ filmic reach, stylistic taste buds, compositional strengths, vocal range and circle of talented friends.  Like I, Lucifer, the album functions brilliantly as an enhancement to its partnering tome and as a standalone slice of life-affirming escapism.

“ME and Mr. Wolf”

Territorial Release Notes:

Available now via Six Degrees Records in the US on CD and digital formats.

A UK/Europe-wide release is to follow in October – as a highly desirable deluxe CD as well as digitally – via Crammed Discs.