REVIEW: Suture Seven - "A Stitch to Mark the World"

By JHR

Chain Border

A Stitck to Mark the WorldThe name Suture Seven sounds like it could have been dragged unceremoniously from a JG Ballard story. (It doesn't appear to be - I checked for a while, before becoming distracted by the curious interrelationships suggested by the angles of the room and the careless placement of the CD case on top of a copy of Illuminatus!) Though, if they'd called themselves 'The Suture Seven', they could have been playing on the same bill as The Heaven Seventeen somewhere inside A Clockwork Orange(*) .

The concrete apron outside the terminal buildings were bleached white by the vertical sunlight. Travis turned away from the view over the JAL shuttles and noticed the young actress staring intently at him again from behind her dark glasses. He grinned at her - after two weeks of near-constant shadowing, she had become as familiar to him as the internal landscape of his car. At first he had tried to talk to her, but she seemed to carefully avoid contact - either tailing his Saab in a succession of nondecript rental cars, or choosing crowded areas to follow him on foot.

The first couple of tracks pass by in a miasma of grind and crunch and lyrics about filling someone's void. So far so industrial-via-David Lee Roth. Track three (Kill Me - why can't industrial bands have song titles like 'more songs about chocolate and girls?') contains more wildly crunching bass and shouting, but steals some interesting concepts from Public Enemy's Rebel Without a Pause which is a damn fine thing and to be firmly encouraged. Then we get into some badly-managed oompah-band malarkey that sounds like Trio being heavy-handedly ironic and falling off a cliff marked 'Not really terribly funny, chaps'. Probably go down a storm in the wilder parts of Michigan, mind.

Travis first saw the actress playing the part of a reporter who becomes involved with a young chronographer charting the curious eddies in the time-sea that was discovered in Yemen's empty quarter during a routine overflight by a French spysat. Later, he found it somewhat appropriate that the same woman would obsessively stalk him through the industrial landscapes of Burbank and Chiba, given his own accidental chronometric breakthrough in the abandoned television studio where he had constructed his first conceptual time-vehicle.

Moving deeper into the CD (or outwards, given the way they work) we discover that there are more hip-hop influences here than one might immediately consider. The athsmatic drum-machine workout that is Say You're Mine brings to mind Keith LeBlanc having a bit of an off-day with a sampler and throwing a strop. And, likely, the sampler through the nearest window. Soon after though, we're back in biscuit-tin percussion and rude-about-girls territory. Which is a bit of a shame. It's at times like this I miss the scary bloody noise and incisive wit that was the truly splendid Big Black.

In quick succession there are... Highschool poetry (about Nasty Girls again) as the people next door stage a steamroller joust in the garden, tinkly-tonk piano played by some fellow in a hockey-mask with a bad case of laryngitis, someone playing their teeth (or an alarm clock - it's hard to tell) with a couple of spoons, a threatening phonecall from the Tom Tom Club and Katie-Jane Gartside. It all finishes up with a terrible accident as the someone loses control of one of the steamrollers and flattens both hockey-mask bloke and his piano.

Suture SevenIt seems to me, from the bottom of my drained swimming-pool within site of the Canaveral launch complex, that these chaps are at their best when doing the completely unhinged random Not Music bits... But then they seem to feel that they ought to fit their oddness into the usual tedious INDUSTRAIL song-structures and it all gets a little just-like-everyone-else, which, as I've mentioned, is a bit of a shame. I get the impression that there's likely some batshit stuff hiding in the wings - I can imagine Say You're Mine being played on lengths of scaffolding by five chaps dressed as the Village People, for instance, and I would loom forward to being terrified and deafened by that experience.

(*) On another note, Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange, an amazing novel, was reviewed in the Off The Shelf column in Legends #106.

Contact Information:
Post: Suture Seven, PO Box 251, Hummelstown, PA, 17036-0251, USA
Phone: (717) 312-1347
E-Mail: gregory@sutureseven.com
Web: www.sutureseven.com

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