CD Review

Pornographic Priestess – “Tatterdemalions”

By Marcus Pan

TatterdemalionsI'm not quite sure what to make of this one. It could be a big fat joke. It could be an attempt at serious music infusing folk-style and old world sensibilities with a bit of modern flair and guitar. Or it could be poop, depending on where you stand. The simple one page press kit may give us some hints, so let's take a short read through what Pornographic Priestess have to say.

The word "experiments" catches my eye. Along with phrases like "drink and drug hazed...bursts of noise." Hey, I've done this! I didn't press it, but I have done it. Made up of Skillet Jones (guitars), Ethos Pontifex (guitars) and Yars Rebo (programming/keys), they create something that they sometimes liken to "new wave drone" and "sleazy swamp stomp." Recorded at the "Maggot Farm" (home studio) and mastered by David Torry at DRT, they claim it to be a "beautiful mess." I admit I was worried at first..."Pornographic Priestess" can easily be a sad attempt at pretension akin to such acts as Lord Goth and the Darkness(1) and/or Hypnotique(2). But it seems they're not...they’re just like me. Only they've taken their drunken warblings to a new level and kicked out...

Tatterdemalions is a low-budget 14 track conglomeration that touches upon everything from psychedelic punk to classic rock styles, metal to trip hop and everything available even for a moment out in left field. With such interesting track names as Bat Swarm Boogie, Celebrity Prison (Has Got to be the Shit), Unsound Frown and, my personal favorite, O, Jesus, Pornographic Priestess are filling their idle time with producing something extremely different from most everything I've heard before.

Haunt You opens Tatterdemalions with a strange, classic rock and blues ideal. The "bunch of guys screwing around in a basement" thing is worn on the sleeve here and this trend continues. Haise Maise ups the beats and adds some froofy keyboard based techno melodies to the mix. Waster gets acoustic and almost classical-like in its appearance, with climactic buildings and a fuzzbox guitar added along the way.

Pickin' Legs is a favorite with wacky vocals and cartoony stylings interspersed with decent classic rock similar guitar work. Celebrity Prison reminds me strongly of Descendants, only sillier. Swan Neck Girl is plainly drunk. And O, Jesus likens the Xtian Messiah to being a modern day crackpot. I'm not quite sure what happened in the center here, but it morphs excellently into an almost punk track. Interesting stuff.

This is a cute CD. It's the kind of thing that would happen if some old band mates and I, all of whom are attached to different bands now, got together with lots of beer and old-times rehashing on a weekend. And we'd probably record it too, just for laughs, and play it when we're 80 years old for fun...in fact I have a bunch of tapes just like that. But I'm not so sure I'd go out of my way and have it mastered, pressed and jacketed. But it is a fun, no-frills romp through a bit of weirdness for those that like this kind of thing. If you like silly, here you go. Perfect for your stalkerish Frank Zappa fan!

Contact Information:
Southern Palpitations
Post: PO Box 330001, Fort Worth, TX, 76163-001, USA
E-Mail: priestess@eightyx.net
Web: www.priestess.eightyx.net
(1) No, seriously, “Lord Goth and the Darkness.” Their Azrael Calls release was reviewed years ago in Legends #94.
(2) I poop on her pretension in Legends #149.