A song inspired by an experience I had working on a building site as a brickies labourer, a group of guys came across from Adelaide to work on this particular site and took advantage of another labourer that I was working with and after a few weeks things started to get really dark and disturbed when one day they decided they were going to kill this guy and loaded several bags of lime in their car in preparation to carry out this shocking deed, one of the guys claimed he was associated with a notorious biker gang called the gypsy jokers hence the title of the song.
A song about an eerie experience I kept having after my father died suddenly from an aneurism, I would constantly see people that looked nearly identical to my father when I was in shopping centres and other public places, the resemblance was so striking on most occasions that I always had to take a second look.
The album kicks off with “Amnesia” which could almost be mistaken for Soundgarden with its simple but effective distorted power chords in the intro.The rhythm in the verses and the 70’s organ intertwined with the guitar demonstrate the heavy influence of the 80’s on Ivan’s music. It is hard to not like this track, the lyrics are a definite political statement about the fear that has been foisted upon people since the tragic events of 9/11, and the confusion that resulted. The black and white film clip is a testament to Ivan’s creative sensibilities, it contains some cool surfing wipeouts which could distract you from the track’s political element, but oddly enough only tends to cement it into your consciousness all the more. The chorus poses a question to the listener, and presents the challenge to examine oneself inwardly. For a song that has so much going for it musically, you can’t help but admire the craftsmanship that went into the lyric writing to not only have you tapping your feet to it but to also be thought provoking at the same time.
Title track “Dirty Lie” starts off almost like a simple three chord shoe gazer, then shifts back a gear to allow the vocal to grind away with an almost seething indifference. The bridge presents an air of sarcasm that perfectly sets up the chorus to send home the message that we are utterly fed up with being lied to constantly by governments and powerful corporations. The lyrics daringly challenge the listener to identify with the author’s frustration and righteous anger about the state of inequality caused by a minority of elites who own most of the world’s wealth. When quizzed about the subject matter of this song Ivan referenced the book 1984 by George Orwell, and pointed out that the motivation for writing this song was to hopefully wake people up to the simple fact that we have been fobbed off with a total lemon by the ruling elite. In this conversation Ivan stated how perplexed he felt when playing this song in venues like the Esplanade in St. Kilda, and how exasperating it was for him to deliver such an honest assessment of what’s been happening in the world only for audiences to react with puzzled looks and ignorant indifference. He went on to say that he was quite perplexed to receive this type of reaction, and laughed about it saying that the irony of this is that it felt like he was looking into a mirror and that he was just as puzzled with the audience’s reaction as they were about his song.
“Insane” starts with a dramatic guitar pick edge dragged down the strings, after this gains your attention the drums bring you into the song sounding like Green Day’s Dookie album but more uptempo. The lyrics in the verse have a deliberate disjointed character about them and are delivered in a slightly manic way which complements the gritty guitars. This song has a deceptively complex arrangement considering the simple chord progression, but surprisingly still manages to remain accessible. Even though the lyrics don’t seem to form a coherent narrative throughout the duration of the song you still find it impossible to not gravitate towards this song. The well placed stops showcase Ivan’s skills as a musician and songwriter. The film clip adds another dimension by being made in such a way as to present the viewer with a visual collage of disjointed footage. At first glance it gives the impression that it was slapped together without too much thought going into it, when watched more intently you can appreciate the artist’s take on the fast pace of life in the inner city suburbs of Melbourne. The bendy guitar solos add a type of simplistic raw energy and are cleverly slotted into the arrangement. This track with its raw energy is difficult to dislike due to the clever arrangement that leaves you wanting to hear more.
The track “You Can’t Take My Soul” was Inspired by the movie Shawshank Redemption’s character Andy Dufresne. The chorus in particular is a reference to the scene in the film where Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) defies Warden Sam Norton (Bob Gunton) by playing the duettino over the prison’s loudspeakers. Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding (Morgan Freeman) remarks in his voice-over narration: “I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. […] I’d like to think they were singing about something so beautiful it can’t be expressed in words, and it makes your heart ache because of it.” The scene highlights the deep satisfaction gained by the prisoners from something that spoke to their essential humanity, in spite of the prison regime they were living under. You Can’t Take My Soul reflects that affirmation of humanity under even the most soulless living conditions.
The first line of the song expresses distaste for the modern scourge of political correctness and questions the notion of blindly trusting institutions such as governments, corporate media organisations and the industrial military complex that President Eisenhower warned the world about directly after WW2.
The second line is a cynical dig at the individuals and corporations involved in successfully lobbying governments into making decisions that have systematically destroyed the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of people by offshoring all their work. This in turn has caused the unprecedented amount of inequality that we see in the world today. The last part of the line defiantly sends a message that they can own everything but “you can’t own the inside of me”.
The first line in the second verse takes aim at the rise of the mindless insipid reality TV shows that have been rammed down people’s throats and are passed off as a meaningful form of entertainment. The ones that are particularly offensive are the music reality shows, as they have had a detrimental effect on the craft of songwriting in general by focusing on vocal acrobatics and ignoring all other elements that contribute to a creative work. Also under fire is the mainstream media’s practice of creating a false reality to be presented to the public based on falsehoods and deliberate misinformation. This song shows an insight, and an absolute respect to its audience, that are not found in modern mainstream music.
The sound of the track itself starts with an air of mystery, the different musical influences of this track are melded together in an attractive array of instruments and sounds. It’s difficult to fully appreciate the genius of such a great work and how this song has very few lyrics but manages to say so much. The vocal performance of this track emphasises and complements the lyrics perfectly while the deep tones of Ivan’s voice add an unmistakable, distinctive dimension to this song. It is possibly one of his best works to date. Even though the lyrics are quite cynical, this track is still a tribute to the resilience of a person’s ability to rise up and overcome dire circumstances in their life.
She Said is about how it is often easier to get perspective on someone else’s life than your own, and how we judge ourselves far more harshly than we would judge others. The piano rhythm in this track has it bouncing along in joyous abandon, it serves as an antidote to the previous tracks on the album. The lead guitar in the intro gives it a definite radio friendly sound, overall the musical elements of the song are cleverly melded together in a harmonic collage that makes it very easy to listen to. As in Ivan’s previous album Dirty Lie it shows a lighter side to Ivan’s songwriting. She Said has classic Australian rock and pop elements, and 70’s and 80’s influences, while clever use of cello in the verses gives a contemporary feel.
Created 6 months, 2 weeks ago.
Music channel for Melbourne musician Ivan Beecroft, it was created in response to being marginalised by YouTube and Facebook.To be a dissenting voice with well produced original music has fast become the quickest way to get censored or just deliberately buried and sent to the bottom of all the mainstream social media feeds. To have all your social media accounts hacked and sabotaged to deprive you of an audience is the most evil thing that an artist can ever experience. In the last 2years I have had two Independently released songs in the top 50 radio charts, and an album release that Facebook deliberately sabotaged by banning any posts about the album until well after its release. No reasonable explanation was given for doing this, for this to happen to a self funded independent musician such as myself, is a deliberate tactic to financially ruin me and many others to make sure no dissenting voices ever get to to see the light of day. All I can say is that it hasn't worked and there will always be individuals such as I that refuse to be silenced no matter what the cost.