Half-Year Album Review

Summer in Wonderland.

2018 (addendum)

The end of ’18 brought three albums that I’ve listened to this year. They shouldn’t be left behind unmentioned.

Tropical Fuck Storm – A Laughing Death in Meatspace

Believe the (moderate) hype in this case. The festering psychedelic quality of “Laughing Death in Meatspace” deserves praises heaped upon it. It sounds mesmerizing despite being unpleasant and toxic in essence.  — Losing your mind on the porch in hot and humid Australian weather unable to move, with worn out and scratched Neil Young & Crazy Horse records as only company (There are old Buffalo albums in the cupboard too, but you haven’t had enough energy for that kind of blues / doom for ages). —  The visions of Gareth Liddiard are respected here. He could be one of the four honorary evangelists for this blog column.

tfs

You Let My Tyers Down

Two Afternoons

Rubber Bullies

A Laughing Death In Meatspace

Wax Chattels – Wax Chattels

Just a thousand miles down south-east, in subtropical Auckland, youngsters flocked together in a power (NRG) trio of a different kind (bass / organ / drums). Such band format is not really extraterrestrial but it is uncommon and thusly more interesting. How many more great (debut) albums from Southern Hemisphere.  Fantastic! Rated X.

wax

In My Mouth

Parallel Lines

Stay Disappointed

Gillian

The Nightingales – Perish The Thought

I could easily recommend any of their post-reformation albums, not only “Perish The Thought”. Perhaps The Nightingales require few introductory lines. In the previous century they started as young ’76 punks from Birmingham (city of Black Sabbath) called The Prefects. The comparisons with The Fall are inevitable but The Nightingales obviously didn’t have work ethic on the same level. Beside Robert LLoyd as frontman, brothers Alan and Paul Apperley were crucial and lasting players in the band. The three studio albums issued in the period 1982-85 are genuine postpunk / pub-rock classics,  platinum certified on John Peel Show. The Nightingales’ German patron saint was Faust (rather than Can). After having been dormant for many years The Nightingales re-appeared in early 21st century and here they are with the latest line-up: Andreas Schmid as bassist and studio engineer, Fliss Kitson on drums / vocals and the new guitarist James Smith recently replacing Alan Apperley. As an uninformed and out of time person, I missed The Nightingales when they played in a lovely old fashioned club in Austrian village Ebensee few years ago. I also could not reach Belgrade nor Budapest last November. I wish I’d been there or some place else where they were touring. Give ’em a chance, and if you like their pop art you can buy their records (and CDs) or simply offer them drinks after the show. In an Austrian Gasthaus or an English pub, old man pop star Robert Lloyd is a people person. And the band plays on… Cheers.

perish

Intro (from “Mind Over Matter” (2015)):

Gales Doc

Perish The Thought (2018):

Enemy Of Promise

Chaff

Lucky Dip

I’m A People Person

2019

I am being loyal and boring again. What can I do? No time to mess around. Serious reviews of all these brand new albums you can read in proper English elsewhere on the infinite internet.

Test Dept. – Disturbance

Construction time again? Of course that Test Dept. went digital / techno right after the Thatcher era. Who needed metal / manual workers in post-industrial neoliberal Britain or anywhere else in EU for that matter. Do they owe them a living? Of course, they fucking do! Industrial culture is not luxury. “Disturbance” as a whole is a fine protest album with seething anger kept in check.

test dept

GBH84

Information Scare

Speak Truth To Power

Sleaford Mods – Eton Alive

Well, since I’ve recently accommodated Pet Shop Boys (in the format of cheap ugly plastic compact diskettes on the CD shelves), there’s no reason not to support Sleaford Mods and buy their own vinyl products. Hoarding stuff, it’s a sin! Unlike PSB, SM are minimal synth pop duo that mastered dirty language of pop (with plenty of local references which are hardly understandable to foreigners like me). Singer usually attacks in disgust, spewing venomous words at fake posturing and overwhelming stupidity. And with very special pleasure, at the R’n’R icons from the past! Change has come with “Eton Alive”.

eton alive

Discourse

O.B.C.T.

Negative Script

The Young Gods – DATA Mirage Tangram

Swiss Air night flight. Mind numbed with whisky. Chill out grooves and nice guitar playing obscure traces of apprehension.  What will come next? Relax.

YG DATA

Entre en matière

Figure sans nom

All My Skin Standing

Mekons – Deserted

I & I feel deserted while suffering series of  heat waves in the big city, dragging overheated body through the dusty streets and hiding from the burning sun. Of all music only roots reggae (with small doses of funk & West Coast psychedelia added) can help I & I live through the hottest months of prolonged summers. As a matter of fact, music by The Mekons is a potent remedy too. During their latest joyful gathering Mekons even brought the rain upon the desert. I () Mekons. Cheers.

mekons                         

Into The Sun

Harar 1883

Lawrence of California

Sunn O))) – Life Metal

lifemetal

Between Sleipnir’s Breaths

Earth – Full Upon Her Burning Lips

earth

A Wretched Country Of Dusk

Saint Vitus – Saint Vitus

Scarred tissue all over but the vital force is still with them. Don’t worry, Saint Vitus are not zombies. Not yet. Original hard & heavy singer Scott “White Stallion” Reagers rejoined after Scott “Wino” Weinrich had left the band again. Great album.

saint vitus ver

Remains

12 Years In The Tomb

Last Breath

City Park

Hey Colossus – Four Bibles

This English modern rock band from the weird side of Great Britain is a fairly new name for me. But they struck a chord with me immediately through their previous album “The Guillotine”. I didn’t expect any new recording thinking that Hey Colossus were over & out. Eerie.

heycolossus

Babes Of The Plague

Carcass

Four Bibles

Drahla – Useless Coordinates

Useless? No way. The debut album by Drahla is very inspired interpretation of tired and often predictable post-punk formula. Sax (art) punk does me good. After half an hour of their music I am truly energized and stimulated for more. Erase Errata used to produce similar effect on me. Bravo!

drahla

React / Revolt

Pyramid Estate

Stimulus For Living

Bill Callahan – Shepard In A Sheepskin Vest

What a breezy summertime double album! Unreal. Bill Callahan is an inexhaustible songwriter. So many things (albums) happened along the way.  The scenes from the life of young artist — e.g. “37 push ups in winter rate motel (while listening to “Highway To Hell”)” — seem to belong not only to his distant past but a previous lifetime. That black dog could be a restless and shaggy Croatian sheepdog. For better or for worse, harmless and healing sunshine for all (and a clear body of water for me).

BC

Black Dog On The Beach

The Ballad Of The Hulk

Released

Young Icarus

Watch Me Get Married

 

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