#50: Pulp – This Is Hardcore (1998)
The city, its night, and the been here before. The view from the wraparound windows on the eleventh floor are cauterised by rain. The view from the wraparound windows is indistinct, unfamiliar in make up yet generic by context; it’s something left unsaid, hustled between each street-light, each strip-light, and the headlights of every car that skulks through the red-light district smeared around the base of these gloaming buildings.
I’m on the bed in my undergarments, the bottle of brandy half empty on the floor, and my fingers jab listlessly at the TV remote as if a reflex action; rolling news and hotel pornography, each successive image badly lit, badly scored, badly extemporised, because this could be Tokyo, or Chicago, or just off the motorway in some faceless English hell hole. Wraparound windows that suggest downtown Beirut, or a prosthetic San Fernando villa where some smacked-out wannabe is being systematically ravished by the jaded and the faceless.
Because we’ve all been here before. Again and again; ignore the titillation, the dirty inference – this is sheer after-show. An ending, of sorts; a song that holds against its frigid bosom. Embraces with void, with ambivalence. This is a track where the inherent seediness is devolved, left to hang. A song that’s all flicker-bug glow, staring down the source material (the sample is from this) with a dismissive shrug.
Minimal touches loiter around the arrangement as if smoking in the shadows; piano, bass, the fallen ghost of a lush string arrangement. And then JC; not Jesus, but always sharing the same initials. It seems I saw you in some naked wet dream. I like your get up if I you know what I mean. It’s the end of an era. We’ve been here before, seen the storyline played out so many times before, and the television noises white, cars pass seductively beneath these wraparound windows – sleep may come eventually, but never before the nakedness of ennui; what exactly do you do for an encore? I take another pull of the brandy bottle.
Pulp / This Is Hardcore