Day 17: The CD-pile by the door threatened to kill the postman this morning. I was strongly tempted to allow the evil-minded heap its wish, given that the fellow had brought a fresh box of silver discs. However, he is a decent chap performing a regularly derided service, so with his aid and a cricket-bat I keep for the purpose, I beat the pile back. It hurled one CD at me, more out of a sense of form than any particular malice. It was this one.
There is a definite aura of 10,000 Maniacs here. If 9,997 of the Maniacs had met with a sudden and unexpected industrial accident, perhaps a chemical spill or a guided tour of a munitions dump going tragically wrong. Further, it would seem that the three survivors escaped with Natalie Merchant's voice hidden in a biscuit tin, and that during their protracted convalescence they had nothing to listen to but a specially manufactured Timewarp Wireless which could only receive the Peel Programme from twenty years ago.
Thus we have sparse electronics in the style of Being Boiled-era Human League, scratchy post-punk indie guitar, bass noises in the school of Cure/New Order and a whole set of odd business that fills the interstices between the otherwise angular noises with items that may or may not have been influenced by Kraftwerk, The Jonzun Crew, Survival Research and shortwave radio.
For instance... The first track - Saliva - reminds me of a fine old acid-house record called Oochy-koochy which was mainly squitty 303 and kidney-wobbling sub-bass. But there's all this other business going on in the background that sounds like Gloucester cattle-market on a Tuesday. A kind of damp concreteness that's in sight of both the cathedral and the prison, but at the same time is aware that it is as ephemeral as the dazzle-painted power station or a metal night in some urban public house.
Reckoning, on the other hand, begins with squalidly-picked guitar and Damage Done style TR-606 drummage. It's a startling evocation of the ennui apparent in the Telford ring-road. I am uncomfortably and forcefully reminded of the uneasy off-white frontages of the Ricoh factory and the pseudo-pastorality inherent in the attempted hiding of the many other industrial units. However, the Glynwed Ironworks on the banks of the river Severn stands as firm and proud as its many fine products. Dream of Razors is just dead good. It seems to leap between a stroppily resolute bassline and a guitar part that sounds like The Edge chasing Peter Gabriel through Box Mines while waving a Gibson Explorer above his head and shouting in Vietnamese.
I want to watch track six having playing chess with a field of winter wheat near Bradford on Avon. I suspect an exciting and close-fought match that would equal the spontaneity of George Formby at the top of his game.
Post: Paisley Rojagato, 9 Henderson St., Arlington, MA, 02474, USA
Phone: (781) 646-0084