This winter, Holy McGrail has been down at the Archdrude’s, lending an artistic hand to the Great Dismantling.
I hope this mild January has been warming your chilly winter souls. We’re still at full stretch here as the great Yatesbury Dismantling continues apace, and this here Drudion will be my penultimate transmission. Yup, after fourteen years of continuous outsider broadcasts, the time has come to shut down and ship out. For this reason, I shall not this month be bringing to you my usual review crop of brand new releases, but have decided instead to heft your way a few comments on the more neglected and overlooked works – records, books, even bandcamps – that have continued to irrigate, inform and empower my daily grind. That said, a coupla current items will also get the Lord Yatesbury review treatment (see below). But, after the final Drudion this coming March, my tenure as Lord Yatesbury will come to an end.
STONER ROCK by Bong
In the present day, however, this February’s Reviews Section opens with the ever-essential Bong, whose latest album is entitled STONER ROCK which, despite being this ensemble’s shameless attempt to become the living, nay roaring embodiment of the most perfectly named rock’n’roll genre, nevertheless succeeds throughout its 70 minutes by these fine gentlemen’s sheer acceptance of what they are about. Yup, STONER ROCK is simply the quintessential sum total of All Things Bong, their Ult Incarnation, their Summum Bonum, the Stairway of Stoner Rock, the LaMonte Young of Stoner Rock, and as such is a ruddy lovely thing.
PUMA PUNKUR by Angkor Wrack
Next up, grab an earful of Copenhagen’s Angkor Wrack, whose brilliant new snot green 7” EP merely reminded me how much I’d enjoyed-but-forgotten-to-review their debut LP PUMA PUNKUR last year. Caught within these new grooves, Angkor Wrack appear to have devolved several stages lower than their raging, rampant debut. And like the Intuitive Non-Career Movers they are, Angkor Wrack’s having increased herein from the debut LP duo of Torben and Carsten Midgaard to a quartet replete with new vokillist Klaus Barbie and ‘drummer’ Dodsprinsen ‘Death’s Prince’ Midgaard has only made the band more cumbersome, more inept, hell kiddies, more Black Metal than ever. And I’m talking some low, low Cassette-only shite, aussi! Here they fetch up like early Wolf Eyes on a Damon Edge-period Chrome bender, there they become ‘70s Paris electro-punks Metal Urbain plays Germany’s 39 Clocks. And all achieved without any sense of sonic perspective whatsoever. Bravo! Best to try them out on angkorwrack.bandcamp.com
, where you can cop an earful (and it ain’t cheerful) and thereby make your remunitary decision. But I’m delighted to have their cruddy artefacts under my roof, albeit temporarily. Jesus Chrysler, I’m glad I got a word in on these gents afore laying it all to rest!
MNEMONIC INDUCTION by Troum Und Yen Pox
Early on in 2002CE from the dark ambient field, there came a magnificent brooding named MNEMONIC INDUCTION from Troum Und Yen Pox. Released on Malignant Records, I picked up on this record only because the artwork was rendered by Sunn0)))’s Stephen O’Malley and he lobbed a copy my way. Never off my turntable or what, kiddies? This exquisitely clad multiple digipack held four massively deep and rich pieces, each clocking in at well over a quarter-of-an-hour each! Sweet relief for the wounded mind, this was a psychic poultice on which to lay one’s throbbing heavenly body. Indeed, it sounded not like the hard work of six years as claimed on the inner cover but, instead, like the naturally generated outpourings of some infernally large Cosmic Machine from the early days of the Industrial Revolution. It was as though Thomas Telford had actually engineered in metal and steel a rainbow bridge that guaranteed the daily crossing of the Rubicon. How does it sound all these years later, kiddies? Well, it saw me through some dark days last year when not even my own ODIN could pull me out of the mire. How’s that for a recommendation?
SHIBBOLETH by Penny Rimbaud
I also have huge love for, and deep respect for, that Penny Rimbaud autobiography SHIBBOLETH of a few years back. Compelling, truth seeking and refusing to bathe itself in hindsight, this is the manner in which all autobiographies should trade their facts. Moreover, I’ve been reading this fucker for nigh on four years and still our erstwhile Crass drummer amazes me. Written under the spewdonym J. J. Ratter, SHIBBOLETH is so much the product of the smart smart postwar mind that it deserves to be read on English Literature courses as evidence of that Socialism – without the tyrants and the charlatans – could have worked just fine. Published on the Exit Stencil imprint, you should search this book out and keep it near. Crass was the only post-77 punk band that impressed me, that made me take notice both of their debut vinyl releases AND their truly neo-Devo approach to the thorny Problem of post-Pistols Punk Rock. Penny Rimbaud’s autobiography is genius; I love him.
TWIN OF PANGAEA by Where The Moon Comes From
Finally, at the other end of the spectrum comes that spectacular vinyl debut TWIN OF PANGAEA, from the psychedelic/progressive quartet Where The Moon Comes From, whose opening side of vinyl – comprising a medley of three huge nonstop songs – comes on like FRAGILE-period Yes (no shit) playing CHOCOLATE SOUP FOR DIABETICS with guitarist Pete Banks in place of Steve Howe, and a Mellotron 400 daubed without taste willy-nilly. Released on the German record label, this single LP contains extremely well arranged, violently performed vintage music with all the Detroit urgency that At The Drive-In used to bring to their most peak recordings. And better still it comes in such a beautiful gatefold cover by the quartet’s talented guitarist Johnny Caluya. Hallelujah!
Finally finally, lest I – through my tears – forget next month to name check enough other deserving World Underground Motherfuckers that have compelled me these past fourteen years, do try to grab another listen to Sorc’henn’s amazing ‘Dodsdansen, Life Of An Island Lad’ from back in 2006CE, Datashock’s 2010CE double LP ‘Pyramiden Von Geisen’, and Phurpa’s fabulous 2011CE double-LP epic TROWO PHURNAG CEREMONY on Stephen O’Malley’s Ideologic label. I shall endeavour to excavate a few more from my melted plastic mind in time for my Ultimate Drudion. But these gems must suffice until them.
Right, with all of that said, I’ll let you get off for another month.
JULIAN (Lord Yatesbury-in-Exile)