Listening again to this song, my first interpretation was of the protagonist undergoing some sort of hellish muddled hallucinations. A whirlwind of pristine porcelain. A glistening white prison.
The question I was asking myself was: Why is cleanliness causing such anguish here?
And then it struck me.
The voice is not that of a prisoner, but a prison guard. This is the anguish of the obsessive compulsive totalitarian. A man so consumed by his need for order and hygiene that his world is a crashing mess of pain and dissonance.
And, whether it be the completely distorted opening, the chromatic melodies and out of tune harmonies or the stuttering, tight drumming, there is dissonance everywhere.
I don’t know whether it was deliberate or not, but the prolonged groans of ‘clean’ towards the end of the song can really only be described as ‘constipated’. It is also impossible to know now whether or not I genuinely believed ‘infestates’ was a word.
My personal memories of this song are vague. I know that I very much liked the bass line and used to play it a lot. I know that at the time I was relatively proud of the song. I thought it had intrigue. I remember telling a friend that those sliding harmonies on the ‘yeah yeah yeah’s were cool. I don’t remember whether or not he agreed.
I’m fairly certain that this song did not reflect some sort of digestive or hygienic anxiety I had.