REVIEW: V/A - "Working With Children & Animals"

By Pat Hawkes-Reed

Chain Border

Working With Children 7 AnimalsThis is the first compilation released by Cheltenham England-based Wasp Factory. It came out in November 2000 and there are more bands on the roster and quite a few releases since then, but this compilation will give you a decent idea of the various groups on the label. One of the cool things about getting this album is receiving one of the collectable cards with it, featuring one of the bands on this compilation. The label had a release party at London's Underworld with interesting line-up combinations. See the photos at http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~uncle/3_12_00.htm. Also, the band Freudstein has elements of their songs spread liberally throughout this album.

CHAOS ENGINE
The first two cuts are by Chaos Engine, showing off their industrial melange of interesting lyrics, samples and music. I've said a lot more about Chaos Engine in another review found in this month's issue, so if interested take a look there!
http://www.chaosengine.com

ARKHAM ASYLUM
This is a Brighton-based band which is a bit reminicent of Ministry with a good measure of gabba thrown in the mix. One reviewer said "it's Rage Against the Machine gone goth" and I think this is an apt description. Arkham Asylum will be one of the bands performing at the April 2002 Whitby Gothic Weekend.
http://www.btinternet.com/~arkham.asylum/

LEECH WOMAN
The songs on here do not even come close to the intensity and aural damage one experiences seeing this band live. They are very intense and loud onstage, and parts of this come through on these two sample songs. Just think of smoke, throbbing drums and machinery - this will give you a bit of a clue to their sound.
http://www.leechwoman.co.uk

GOTEKI
Formerly known at Sneaky Bat Machine, these are the first few songs of the newly-formed Bristol-based Goteki. There is still quite a bit of the SBM feel to these songs. Their full-length album has taken a different direction: more techno/bleepy than their SBM personna. I still like these songs a lot, but that's understandable since I liked Sneaky Bat Machine a lot. See my Goteki review in this issue for more info.
http://www.goteki.com

TARENTELLA SERPENTINE
Tarantella Serpentine (Marcus and James) are very hard to describe. Basically, one man with a boa and police warning tape, and another long-haired man who plays keyboard/synth, onstage with much ranting and raving. Both of the songs on here are remixes and nowhere near as intense as they are live, but they give one a very good idea of what to expect. Seeing Sugar Sugar performed live can be a cathartic experience for the band as well as for the audience.
http://www.tarantellaserpentine.co.uk

HYDRA
A London-based band with an industrial sound mixed with punk sensibilities. It's an interesting mix, but not my cup of tea.
http://www.slainofthehydra.co.uk

SQUID
I saw this band a few years ago as a last-minute opener and thought at first that they were an alternate-universe Marilyn Manson. They have grown a lot since that night and for the better.
http://www.squid616.com

SKINFLOWERS
Scratchy, melodic, guitar-driven indie-pop. At least on here and on the first CD. Rumour has it that they are changing their sound a bit for CD number 2, so we will have to see what direction they have gone from here.
http://www.skinflowers.co.uk

Contact Information:
Web: http://www.wasp-factory.com

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