Grant Hart - The Argument

Sheer Hart attack

If the Punk 101 rulebook
contains a chapter dedicated
to hating concept albums,
Grant Hart clearly skipped it.
As early as 1984 he’d recorded
landmark, Quadrophenia-esque double-set Zen Arcade
with Minneapolis hardcore
trailblazers Hüsker Dü, while
1991’s equally complex time-travel
epic The Last Days Of
Pompeii remains his most
satisfying post-Hüskers waxing.

Hart’s most anticipated
release in two decades, The
Argument features 20 tracks
primarily based upon John
Milton’s Paradise Lost and an
unpublished manuscript for
a mooted William Burroughs
sci-fi novel. All very highbrow
and ambitious for sure, yet
despite portentous advance
warnings of material involving
fallen angels, the Garden Of
Eden and Dante-ish visions
of Hell, songs such as the
plaintive Morningstar and the
Buddy Holly-aping rattle of
Letting Me Out quickly prove
Hart’s still more than capable
of channelling his lofty ideals
through good ol’ verse-chorus-
verse.

He occasionally strays off
course. The 75-minute
running time is taxing and
neither the weird, cyclical War
In Heaven or the dense
incantations of Awake, Arise!
are for the faint-hearted. The
unlikely Tiny Tim-style ragtime
shuffle of Underneath The
Apple Tree, however, is
realised with humour and
aplomb, while the anthemic
pop-punk romp Glorious more
than lives up to the title’s
premise. Tim Peacock

3 stars 3 stars 3 stars

Domino | WIG 318 (CD / 2-LP)

Reviewed by
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