|by Jimmy Possession -- Robots and Electronic Brains (UK)|
27 March, 2000
54 Nude Honeys, Hot Generation (Mademoiselle) 7"
Played, not by half a hundred naked sexbombs, but by five rubber-
and leather-clad Japanese "kickass girls," "Hot Generation" is little
more than a spunky chorus, a heavy pinch of sass and a dirty fuzz
break played with one foot on the monitor and the other in the faces
of the front row. But what more do you want from two minutes of garage
punk rock? PO Box 19049, London N7 7WU
The Diaboliks, Never Thought You'd Leave Me (Mademoiselle) 7"
Proudly wearing the Mono flash on its label, this jukebox
7" from the same label is also a bunch of Japanese ladies with
distinctly garage tendencies. "Never Thought You'd Leave Me" is
booming British Invasion reaction psychobilly where echo and sludge
mixing do little to hamper the spirit of a song which neatly twists
your expectations when "..alone" is added to the title. On the other
side, "I Can't Sleep at Night" is hewn from the same rock (punk, that
is) and is, if anything, slightly better. Address as above. I'm about
to order the Lulu's Marble 7" which promises a track called "Jack The
Lipper": humour or naivete? I'll let you know.
Lazarus Clamp, Left-handed (Bearos) 7"
Or cack-handed as they'd say round our way. But not cack. Fresh
from the release of "Such as You Are and Still Not Seeming To Mind,"
the debut album (reviewed elsewhere if I ever get to the bottom of
this pile of reviews), The Clamp revisit their Slintier moments, give
them a good working over, and emerge grasping a tune that fairly
cracks along, compressing all the elongated beauty of something like
"Good Morning Captain" into a thrill-packed zig-zag of a song. PO Box
7179, Birmingham B29 6RA
Accelera Deck, 7ep (English Muffin) 7"
Scruffy beats and ambient synths make up "Eject," a classy specimen
of the new school of indie. That's the one where instead of slouching
around behind long fringes in groups of 4 or 5 (the potential band)
comparing notes on the Dinosaur Jr. bootlegs or Talulah Gosh fanzine
interviews, the protagonists sit at home alone (no band required)
behind 4-track and PC sending emails to like-minded souls about the
latest Steward 7" or Aphex Twin pseudonym. This one comes on clear red
vinyl and is absorbingly minimal as it nods along. Very nice. 39
Skehan #2, Somerville, Mass 02143, USA
Gary Burt, Meeting Someone/Electrical Cells (both Rice Pudding) both
There's ore in every rock liberated from the Rice Pudding
quarry. By which flawed metaphor I mean that of every four tracks Gary
Burt commits to tape, one will be an absolute blinder. On "Electrical
Cells" it's the title track (mysteriously appearing second on the
disc). A kind of musique concrete mixer, it features various power
tools and household appliances making noise over a selections of loops
while Trillion from The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy reads out
their technical specifications. Gary says it's a play on "Tubular
Bells". I say it sounds like he spends too much time at Do It All. On
"Meeting Someone" the plum in the pie is "Maybe," a jug band lollop of
skiffle scratchiness and scalp scratching over the Nativity story. PO Box 135,
Totton, SO40 2ZN
Grover, Like a Bunny (Bearos) 7"
I was young, I was free, I kept my teeth relatively clean and was
just discovering the world of deodorants and shaving
paraphernalia. Ah, they were the days and I used to spend them
watching the Sandkings (amongst others) play around Birmingham all the
time. Jaz Man hadn't quite developed the mystical one-hit wander
personality he later cultivated but was already something of a
spaced-out man. He had enough nous, though, to see the electric
brilliance of Drop, The Sandkings' regular support band. Drop released
a short succession of 12" singles ("Ambience," "Reflections") and a
mini-LP ("Within and Beyond") on the Chapter 22 label before
disappearing into a fog of indifference leaving only a heavily
effected shimmer of guitar haze as their legacy. Now, ten years later,
Grover---completely unrelated to Drop---are making records with the
same effervescent qualities, the same drone sensibility, the same
latent pop dynamic and very similar results if "Like a Bunny" is any
guide. The difference is that where Drop showed very clear
genealogical links to Spaceman 3, Grover's take on the thing is more
incisive and informed by the recent reverence for Slint (who hadn't
released "Spiderland" at the time Drop were mesmerising a young
Possession) although without ever dropping into post-rock
formulae. This is officially a Splendid record. PO
Box 7179, Birmingham B29 6RA.
Southall Riot, A Warp In My Dreams (Earworm) 7"
Split with George but, trust me, you'll only be wearing out one
side of this vinyl. The dream in question involves the Mary Chain's
"Upside Down" without quite so much distortion, a more obvious Brian
Wilson fetish, a super huge fuzz bass and a super reverb vocal. And
the warp, of course. This is catchier than Chinese Flu. 29 Deeside
Rd, London, SW17 0PH
Montana Pete, An Outreach Program (Po-Homo) 7"
Toss Cable and the jaggedy-jag of early Wire into a clunky, dirty
guitar salad and you have the recipe for this lovely noise from
Montana Pete. The singer screams, the music chugs, he stops, it twists
around on itself, stutters and stomps off elsewhere. PO Box 24356,
Tooting, London SW17 9FE.
Milky Wimpshake, Dialling Tone (Ferric Mordant) 7"
Daniel Johnston's got a new album coming out on Pickled Egg
soon. In the meantime, though, investigate The Wimpshake's cover of
"True Love Will Find You In The End" which buzzes immaculately like
the Weddoes did immediately post-"Seamonsters" and somehow manages to
absorb "Don't Let Our Youth Go To Waste" into a kind of bleed-out
middle-8. On the other side, "Dialling Tone" reconfirms what we
already knew about Pete Dale's willingness to go for the obvious in
pursuit of the perfect guitar pop tune. Once again, he succeeds. PO
Box 54, Heaton, Newcastle-U-Tyne, NE56 5YW.
The Various Artists, Lo-Tech Toy Noise TAPE
Not to be confused with Various Artists, the German electricians,
or Various Artists, the BBC Christmas edit-fest single for charity,
this The Various Artists are a strictly bedroom
proposition. They do, however, favour Krauty tones and the odd
cut-n-paste moment. They're literalists, too, as the title (a few of
my favourite things, incidentally) demonstrates by describing the tape
with admirable economy. "There Was a Revolution (We Weren't Invited)"
sticks Neu synth in amongst broken beats for a lesser-fi Lali Puna
sound: hum'n'space, perhaps. Elsewhere, the hi-pitched whistle of a
Spectrum slowly filling its 16k memory from cassette careers into
chattering robotic beats and burbles, the frantic mantra of the
repeated phrase ("All we really want is a beautiful day") and beatbox
rhythms from page 1 of the manual. Track 9 is "The Joy of Being
Electronic," presumably that it's possible to simply sample and loop a
beat and some kind of overload into a mesmeric cycle. Endpiece "You
Could Never Be In Our Band" suggests that the Various Artists think
that's not the case after all. 26 Elthorne Park Rd, Hanwell, London W7 2JA
The Teenbeat, A Year In The Attic TAPE
"Bulimia Queen, I bought you pop and crisps from the vending
machine" croons Adrian Shaw in the ode to a sixteen-year-old whose
name appears to be Urina. Not a common name, admittedly, but it does
help the rhyming scheme later on when, in a sad climax, she
drinks---wait for it---toilet cleaner. Such lack of respect for taste
and convention along with the irony-free delivery are probably what
makes this 90 minutes of The Teenbeat such a joy.<p>
the tape most resembles is one of those cut'n'paste collages where
sloppy editing, a Dadaistic sense of context and plenty of hiss make
everyone a potential phono-terrorist. The difference here is that
everything, except for the odd John Shuttleworth skit, is played by a
band favouring the spasticity of early Wire filtered through Half Man
Half Biscuit via Jim Reeves and the leapfrog logic is the inside of
Shaw's head. The whole lot is recorded on a borrowed walkman and can
be yours for just a quid to cover costs (cheques to K.Ferguson):
Teenbeat HQ, 25 Redwood Ave, Royston, Barnsley, S71 4JP or firstname.lastname@example.org Look
for a split single with Baxendale shortly and some kind of release on
Short Fuse to follow.
You can now listen to Jimmy's radio shows (archived) online!
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Robots and Electronic Brains
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