Down in the sweaty basement of Bristol’s club The Croft, the Archdrude takes the opportunity to check out the snugness of a coffin recently purchased by club owner and Invada Records label boss Fat Paul.
It’s been a busy August what with the new book and album. I took the band and crew up to the Scottish Highlands earlier this month, popping a few power trio wheelies at Inverness’s Tartan Heart Festival. I’d long intended to show the gentlemen some megalithic sites and take in the scenery. Hell, this was the place where, in 1773, Dr Johnson had made his infamous anti-megalith comment: ‘to go and see one Druidical temple is only to see that it is nothing, for there is neither art nor power in it; and seeing one is quite enough’. However, when my crew boss Ady Fletcher put a rusty nail through his foot just afore we headed north, all the carefully-laid plans became corrupted, and the idea of visiting monuments was kicked well into touch. Instead, myself and Michael O’Sullivan (see main photo August Drudion 007) were forced behind the steering wheel the entire time both ways, a prospect we both wrung our hands and gnashed our teeth over, but secretly relished. In spite of the vicissitudes, we even managed a quick detour to Aviemore stone circle on the way home.
Now, September 007 is Japrocksampler month and I gots to hip y’all to it, because this is a tome with a sting in the tale for everyone – protests, plane hijacking, artists being sued by the Japanese government - and it ain’t never been told before not even by the Japanese to themselves. And although the book’s already had 5-star reviews in The Observer and Word magazine, I’m most delighted to report that two of the Japrocksampler’s primary instigators – the Seth Man and David Keenan of Volcanic Tongue - have already heaped hefty praise upon it. Via email, Seth described it as “… a freakin’ insanely comprehensive study... I’m really at a loss for words, as I'm entirely overwhelmed by it. It’s thorough in a way I could only dream of it being.” The ever buoyant Keenan commented: “… the arc of your history is fucking mythic and it’s the first serious joining-the-dots of alla [sic] this shit that has ever made sense – this will be the cornerstone I am sure of all future Jap underground scholarship.” Gentlemen, please excuse my making these comments public, but I been heavily weighed down with a sense of duty since taking on this Japanese project, and knowing you poets think I got it right on the button has eased the strain on my rock’n’roll heart. But enough gush… Anyway, it seems that, despite the recent release of my new album and book, my old group The Teardrop Explodes has been getting just as much press, making the daily national news via the goings-on at the Climate Camp protest at Heathrow Airport. Listening to a midday news report on BBC’s Radio 5 Live, I was impressed that the erudite Liverpudlian spokesman for the protesters gave his name as Gary Dwyer, the name of the Teardrop’s drummer. Two days earlier, a protester by the name of Alan Gill (our old guitarist) cropped up in the press, along with Alfie Agius (our old bass player). However, when Dorian visited the protest camp, she did note that Merrick, U-Know!’s editor and chief architect, was spending a great deal of time in the camp’s media tent. Why that sly fox… and ne’er even a mench of D. Balfe. U-Know!
VERMICHTE DIE GOTTER by Kabalist
Self-titled by Hintegedanken
CLOUDS BURN SLOWLY by Medicine & Duty
PATH OF NINERS by Grey Daturas
SLUG STORM by Mok Nok
LADRON by Totimoshi
It’s been yet another hefty fuck-off month for deeply twatted underground rock’n’roll, brothers’n’sisters. So do please excuse my choosing to concentrate on intensely emotional dark-hearted music this month, because there’s a post-Doom Metal thing going down that’s just gotta be embraced whilst it’s happening. Firstly, I gots to make mention of VERMICHTE DIE GÖTTER (‘Destroy the Gods’), the superb debut by Dutch duo Kabalist on our own Fuck Off & Di label. This massively shamanistic album is made up of three epic pieces that shudder and shake like early DAF united with FLIGHT OF THE BEHEMOTH-period Sunn0))). Elsewhere, terrifying call-and-answer German vocals, mucho hand drums and primitive Excepter-style yelps populate Kabalist’s nocturnal muse, its emptiness and a-rhythmical lurches conjuring up a kind of stumbling but compelling non-skank. Stranger still are their informative German language spoken introductions that separate each track, each one a Faust-like quarter-of-an-hour bleat from the underworld. Arm yourself with this highly limited edition sucker by simply pressing this button
. Remaining for a while in that same Kabalist half-world, I’d next suggest checking out the superb self-titled debut from Hintegedanken, a Wisconsin stuporgroup ensemble that unites the Harry Parch-ness of the Residents’ FINGERPRINCE period with the freaked-out acid campfire of ‘70s Japanese commune bands Brast Burn and Karuna Khyal. Hintegedanken calls itself “the latest in a long line of cosmic supergroups reaching from the Cosmic Jokers through Queen Elizabeth to the Zodiac Mountain”. C’mon! And if that mouth-watering combination sounds totally essential, then believe me the reality is the absolute pig’s business, the mutt’s nuts, and wholly useful to any fucker searching for doorways to the underworld. Clad in a high gloss three-panel digipak, and bearing song titles that inhabit the same realms as early Fugs and Mothers of Invention LPs (‘Ritual Dance of the Sugar Rush Fairies’ or ‘Prelude to the Twilight of a Sexually Confused Sunflower’ anyone?), this enormous ever-unfolding Cresta Run through the collectively disturbed minds of itinerant rock’n’roll priests can be copped from Barbarian Records (available via earwaxwisconsin.com
). There’s also plenty of useful, nay, essential brain damage to be had from CLOUDS BURN SLOWLY by Brighton’s Medicine & Duty, a singular ensemble whose sound is all their own, despite being forged out of such components as scribbly Solipsistik/Mars-style No Wave guitar skronk, terminally overloaded bass, chanted vocals and hand percussion’n’tea tray overload. These druids conjure up a similar atmosphere as late ‘70s Red Crayola and later period This Heat, the vocal delivery on one track sounding uncannily like the Last Poets doing Can’s mighty ‘Mother Upduff’. Music Lovers, you know you just cain’t resist such a rare groove! Claim your copy of this pebbly behemoth from Foolproof Projects (foolproofprojects.co.uk
), or check them out at myspace.com/medicineandduty
. And if you need more of that ‘Fall Of Empires’ tidal wave, you know, the kind perpetrated by contemporary ensembles such as the Angelic Process and Nadja, then make sure you seize any opportunity to grab a copy of PATH OF NINERS, the latest work by Australia’s mighty trio Grey Daturas. Finally securing its UK release on the venerable Bristol label Rocket Recordings, this new album is an outrageous tumult of sound, a raging Ragnarok of in-yer-face-ness, sounding as though Allah – suddenly alerted by the Christian God to the fact that we in the West don’t believe in any of ‘em — has thrown such a hissy fit that he’s torn Britain in half and proceeded to hammer Europe into oblivion using a large piece of Scotland. Ouch! Score this blasphemous outrage via rocketrecordings.com
or check out myspace.com/greydaturas
. After that intense sequence of releases, it’s appropriate to drop the pace somewhat with SLUGSTORM, the vinyl-only second album released by Copenhagen’s Mok Nok, on Smittekilde Records (check out smittekilde.dk
). What a fucking class act, kiddies! This band lives at the damned crossroads where post-punk meets Krautrock, a place where everyone still wants to be in the Mekons or the Homosexuals, a place where the weakest-of-the-weak La Dusseldorf/NEU 2 guitar sounds are played with the vigour of the Pistols’ Steve Jones over monotonous motorik rhythms and squirts of malevolent analogue synths. So while those of you Old Timers who preferred 1979 as a smoky Mod Revival memory should probably keep the fuck away from it, those of you with fond memories of L. Voag’s classic 1979 LP THE WAY OUT should score this gorgeously appareled sucker, and pronto, Tonto. This month’s round-up concludes with the album LADRÓN, as dynamic a piece of low-grade grunge metal as I’ve heard in many a day, courtesy of the American power trio Totimoshi. Released on Crucial Blast (crucialblast.net
), Totimoshi is true power trio music, with huge separation between the guitar frequencies, the bass frequencies and the drums. In Totimoshi’s use of extreme dynamics, there are elements herein both of the Melvins, the Groundhogs and the mighty Harvey Milk, but overall LADRÓN is sleek, streamlined, totally pissed off and wholly itself. If you need to make one truly HEAVY ROCK purchase this month, sluing the dollar at this superb temple of erudite barbarianism. Yee Ha… or rather… Ye Whore!
Okay, before I finally quit this Drudion, I just need to say that I’ve started a heathen marching band for a new recording project, and I’m looking for a six foot tall (at least) long haired trumpet player to complete the ensemble. And I mean really long hair, too. So, if you know of (or are yourself) someone deadly rock’n’roll who fits that description, please contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org. And with that, I shall sod off until next month.
Love Right At Ya,
JULIAN (Lord Yatesbury)