Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

December Drudion

December 2011ce

Black Sheep Acoustic Division (L-R Big Nige, Acoustika, Archdrude) outside The Bunker, a WW2 pillbox built into a high placed Yatesbury Bronze Age mound, in 1940, in order to defend the RAF base.

Hey X-Mass Drudion,

Within spitting distance of the Mayan Calendar’s long-a-feared 2012, it’s time to find out who’s on this Revolution and who’s just playing games. Fuck ‘Friend or Foe’, brothers’n’sisters, it’s time to ask ‘Friend or Faux?’ For, as the 13th Floor Elevators’ Tommy Hall once noted, we must be constantly wary of “those people who for the sake of appearances take on the superficial aspects of the quest “. Or as Grand Funk’s Mark Farner declared more, ahem, succinctly: “Brothers’n’sisters, there are people out there who look like you… but they’re not.” For, in the wake of the Mark ‘the Cunt’ Kennedy fiasco and, most especially, while Occupy protesters’ Tent City right now inhabits the steps of London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, it is vitally important to know at all times just who it is that you’re feeding, housing and laying with. Moreover, next month sees the release of my brand new album PSYCHEDELIC REVOLUTION which showcases a song about my disastrous exploits during the G20 protests. Remember that Drudion, ho-hum? Entitled ‘Learned My Lesson & Ran’, the song relates the unfoldings of the day’s disastrous events and my own ignominious ejection from said protest. The rest of PSYCHEDELIC REVOLUTION abounds with examples both of sumptuous Mellotronic balladry (‘The Death of Rock’n’roll’, ‘X-Mass in the Women’s Shelter’, ‘Roswell’, and the nine minute-long epic ‘Hooded & Benign’) and of creaking transcendental heathen folk such as ‘Because He Was Wooden’, the rowdy ‘Cromwell in Ireland’ and ‘Raving on the Moor’, these last two mentioned being showcased on my recent October tour. Noting the passing of too many associates and contemporaries, I’ve even recorded a twisted funeral drinking song entitled ‘As the Beer Flows Over Me’, so that the black sheep of future generations can accompany their rousing and alcoholically-informed wakes with geographically appropriate song lyrics. Yowzah!

Hookworms 12" EP

Meanwhile, there’s a fabulous’n’gleaming tumult building over in the Reviews Section as Leeds quintet Hookworms’ 12” EP comes to yet another climax on the Head Heritage stereo. Damn, it’s been heavy rotazione this past month or watt? Released on Gringo Records, this 4-track release is an epic 26 minutes of sub-ZABRISKIE POINT ambient road-movie heat haze-on-the-road sonic wipeout of the post-Loop variety, and propelled by an elliptical ‘Fender bass’ player from the Michael Henderson soul school. Swee-ee-eet. All of this is infused with such urging’n’urgent almost Ray Charlesean vocal MC-ings from their singing keyboardist MJ that these three dronehead guitarists become Lynyrd’s Allen Collins, Gary Rossington and Ed King to his Duane Allman. Whew! That said, these two near classic sides of vinyl were highly aided by the canny juxta positionings of the songs’ order, both sides designed to plateau then rise then plateau then rise, on and on and fucking on. Do not miss this Shoegazing Skynyrd, brothers’n’sisters.

CHAUDELANDE VOLUME 1 by Gnod

Also be sure to catch the wonderfuel CHAUDELANDE VOLUME 1 debut album from Manchester’s Gnod, whose place on split vinyl releases have been regularly championed here at Head Heritage, but who only now barf their full technicolour yawn at our feet. And what a different creature this Gnod is, kiddies. Unleashed on Tamed Records, CHAUDELANDE VOLUME 1 is a beast with lots of distant relatives but no obvious parents, nor even any true siblings. For this ramped up’n’amped up turbocharged new Gnod has herein jettisoned its Faustian Terry Rileyisms in favour of a full frontal Monoshock-style vocal-heavy assault. Sure, I could say that the record comes on (here) like an even more garagey Chrome playing Wire in La Dusseldorf’s rehearsal space, and (there) a psychotic Syd Barrett leading an Amon Düül 2 in a Parson Sound-type excursion. But, phew, this Gnod debut is really just one helluva fucking mind-X-panda of its own. And that’s a dribbling, drooling factoid.

KALI YUGA SUNRISE by The Scrapes

Back with their second monumental album KALI YUGA SUNRISE is Australian duo The Scrapes, whose initially highly austere La Monte Young-like solo geetar’n’solo fiddle attitude to meditative hoedowns have herein been supplanted by a far lusher array of sounds. Smoother and more new age-y, nevertheless, these Scrapes still practise a potent form of skull cleansing. From the opening bars of the splendid title track, violinist Adam Cadell saws and creaks like some North Sea Henry Flynt over Ryan Potter’s cyclical conservatory electric guitar, as though John Cale’s THE ACADEMY IN PERIL were the coming rage. But soon these Scrapes is stretching out into doomy eastern mantras, into spiky back porch hoedowns, into harmonica’n’bass drum-driven freight rides across the open prairie. And though we’re seemingly lost in a huge imaginary rural world, its always viewed remotely, from beneath a veil, or as though from a speeding train. Recorded on All Is Number Records, KALI YUGA SUNRISE is full of huge expansive ideas, compelling musicianship and fabulously useful drones. Another hit, methinks, gentlemen.

CENOTAPH by Bass Communion

All right, are there any urbanites among you who are in search of deep space meditations but need to block out the noisy neighbours? Right, then imbibe several earfuls of CENOTAPH, an almighty groovathon from Bass Communion, who proffer four moshive 20-minute pieces of granite grooves from the sub-basement of the Norns’ underground parking lot. Released on Tonefloat Records, CENOTAPH’s major power is that it is – like my own RITE series – always underpinned or even propelled by some kind of rhythmical pulse or Newton’s Cradle heartbeat, thereby ensuring that listeners never sink beneath the radar into that theta-drenched isolation ward known as sleep. Instead, listeners to CENOTAPH can guarantee themselves hours of unsignposted astral travel, inner space cuntedness or just pure mental escape. So score this whopper pronto, mes amigos.

BLOOD BUTTERFLY by Bibilic Blood

Hey, what the actual fuck is that heathen racket? Sounds like they’re hanging the already dead down in the new oak grove. Oops, it’s just the peroxided Suzi Psycho and her henchman Wizard warming up their brand new Bibilic Blood album BLOOD BUTTERFLY. And horrific are the smells they’ze conjures up. Yup, I gots to tell y’all kiddies, I don’t half love this strangulated teenage sibling of Death Comes Along, this aborted foetus of Saint Vitus and Lydia Lunch, this divine duo who’ve even dared to daub their own mung across such hallowed works as ‘Five To One’ and ‘Symptom of the Universe’ (no sheet!). These two Ohio reprobates, these … ahem … creatures are the Lux’n’Poison Ivy of their own brooding No Metal scene, and they drive a car without wheels along streets without people, in a dystopian world where bad edits, Stuka raids and inept rehearsal outpourings of E. Van Halen’s ‘Eruption’ are welcomed insertions to the main menu. In whatever passes for the real world, BLOOD BUTTERFLY should only be bought in packs of five or ten and foisted upon anyone who claims to be a music lover. So make sure you score your own copy of this epically rancid 13-track item from the strangely named Stearns Dog Records, and let’s even hassle them via Myspace to try a version of the Doors’ own proto-metal dirge ‘L’America’!

TROPICAL ALIEN by Lobster Prophet

Now I’m gonna clue y’all into one true De Twat-stylee epic that got away from me last year, yup, din’t even know this sucker was released until about a month ago. I’m talking about a wonderfuel album called TROPICAL ALIEN by the horribly unsung Australian quartet Lobster Prophet, whose ideas of high entertainment include spiking all the studio technicians, then spiking themselves. And fuck me, kiddies, did the producer AND the engineer lose control of these guys or what? Imagine simultaneous 13th Floor Elevators AND Glam Rock Dolls, with David Jo or the MC5’s Sonic on lead voice. Right, then add compulsory random J. Thunders ernie ernie axe drool plus molto Binns Echoplex, several ‘Stepping Stone’-type choruses, and put the whole schmeer through a hefty moderne post-punk, post-grunge filter (Tight Bros From Way Back or Dave Cintron’s Terminal Lovers here come to mind)… can you see it, kiddies? Can you, can you? Beg, steal or borrow a copy of TROPICAL ALIEN and you’ll be forced to shell out your heard-earned for your own personal copy. Yup, once y’all heard that final song ‘Brand New Design’, I know you’ll feel compelled to call these guys via Turkeyneck Records and sob, wail and snivel out your gratitude to them. Still, as the great Lord Arthurly woulda said: Love Is More Than Words (Or Better Late Than Never).

LOVE TAPE by Silvia Kastel

Hot on the heels of her mighty performances on TWO COUPLES (see Address Drudion July 2011CE), comes Silvia Kastel’s hauntingly sexy and eerily disembodied LOVE TAPE cassette album for Ultramarine Records, on which she squeals, cooes, howls, snarls, grunts and yelps through all manner of intriguing analogue-ishness, whilst synthesizers, rough hewn bass and pre-constructed Igjugurjuk jawjaw conspire underneath to create the kind of compelling rudimentary musique concrète that post-punk ensembles such as Factrix regularly stumbled into. Better still, the cassette itself works as an art object of the kind that used only to be the realm of such record labels as Factory, Rough Trade and New York’s ROIR.

GROWN UNDER ENGLISH ICE by Iron Fist of the Sun / ACTEON by Burial Hex

And if Sylvia’s Toothed Vagina routines din’t phase you enuff, better take a trip through Cold Spring Records’ latest demented split vinyl LP between Birmingham’s Iron Fist of the Sun and Wisconsin’s Burial Hex. Fuck me back’erds, as my inbred Auntie Blodwyll used to remark, there’s some rum thoughts pass through these lads’ heads. First off, we’re headed for the Druid’s Heath area of Bromwicham, as Brum used to be called, where one man is engaged in taking on Israeli power electronics without a safety belt. Entitled GROWN UNDER ENGLISH ICE, this one man Lee Howard provides essential evidence of the mental health achieved through the punishing demands of this the psychic Dynorodding. Amphetamine pessary up the X-Mass jacksee, anyone? On the other side – entitled ACTEON – ‘The Coming of War’ that Burial Hex unleashes bombards the listener with what sounds like a Black Metal radio play that sonically reproduces the horrors of WW1’s horrific and protracted Battle of Passchendale – the calm before the storm, soggy death of the floundering soldiers, arrival of skald crows to pick out the eyes of the waterlogged dead, grieving aftermath of relatives, inevitable grand musical themes by masters of the day – all performed with a ruthless but masterful dedication that conjures up images of Sacrificial Totem performing Gavin Bryars’ ‘The Sinking of the Titanic’. Score this sucker from the esteemed Cold Spring Records and catch a right old dollop of necessary brain damage before X-Mass. Yikes.

Okay Space Explorers and Future Time Navigators, when next you hear from me I shall probably have ascended into the Ass End of Mayan Time and mutated (natch!) into the kind of outer shell that befits such an esteemed Drudicalness. What shape you all take hereafter is nobody’s guess, but do wear something bright at night in these nihilistic times; lying in a bodysuit down the morgue is no way to usher in such a mythical date as 2012 (Common Era). So good luck crossing the time Rubicon AND the busy X-Mass roads and, hopefully, I’ll see y’all on the other side.

Love at Sonic Velocity,

JULIAN (Lord Yatesbury)