I'm convinced that if McLusky were from America, they'd be one of the biggest bands in the world right now. Or at least the most fanatically followed. As it stands, McLusky instead lie somewhere between the great Welsh hope and the best mid-'90s band this century has yet to birth.
Formed in Wales in 1998, McLusky debuted with the first of their many amazingly titled works in 2000, with My Pain and Sadness is More Sad and Painful than Yours. Despite the band's deeply caustic core, a ton of apt Pixies comparisons followed--a link only complicated by their choice to record My Pain's follow up with Steve Albini. But where the Pixies were college kids aping an abstract impression of aggression, McLusky's intention never seems obscured. Much more metallic, much more brutish, much more direct.
Besides that, the band's frontman (one Andrew Falkous) has a persona on record that measures alongside some of rock's true curmudgeons--largely reminiscent of Steve Albini, with a touch of Mark E. Smith's self righteousness.
The band delivered their masterpiece in 2002's McLusky Do Dallas, with two irresistible singles ("Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues" and "To Hell With Good Intentions"), and an album's worth of clever, sarcastic bile. This year's follow-up, the more intentional, poppy The Difference Between You and Me Is That I'm Not On Fire, was something of a letdown--but as usual, delivered enough haunting lyrical refrains ("Our old singer is a sex criminal" comes to mind) to make the entire mess worthwhile.