Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

April Drudion 2006CE

April 2006ce

Egg Rollers, Church Burners, Easter Bunnies of the Heathen West,

Is it really Springtime again, already? Yup, Brothers and Sisters, and I’m in love with Mother Earth. From our vantage point up here on the Marlborough Downs, the south-south-westerly views of Silbury from my bedroom are always somewhat sub-dude by the time the winter sun is climbing over her flattened summit, for I know the daylight hours will be brief and harsh. So when that equinoctial sun of March 21st/22nd rose high due east and shone through my window last week, I was out from under the covers and blasting out infantile homicidal sonic backwash by 5.45 am. There’s so much excellent music currently, I gots to say I’m reeling from the FX. At least four brand new records screamed Album of the Month at me, and a bunch of others installed themselves on my turntable at frequent intervals petitioning me for a place in the archive. So I’ve decided this April Album of the Month shall be dedicated to an older record – by uber morons Tight Bro’s From Way Back When – whilst all the current crop of insanity can get a proper discussion right here on the Drudion…

First up has to be THE CASTLE, the new album by legendary Alternative TV songwriter Alex Fergusson, chosen mainly because it’s so very damned good, but also because I get so much inspiration from seeing one of my own contemporaries really fucking nailing it. Released on Germany’s excellent Eis & Licht label, THE CASTLE is a beautifully concise record full of catchy bastard songs, Marc Bolan/Lou Reedian maelstrummed guitars and excellent gimmicky stereo FX - something like a gothic Subway Sect playing NEU 75. I’m also a big fan of the EMBRYONIC SUICIDE album by Italy’s psychedelic post-punks Atomic Workers, which comes across like early Pere Ubu jamming Aphrodite’s Child’s 666. In need of portentous foghorn baritone, scything grim reaper guitar, relentless Spiders From Mars bass-overload with a Cleveland ’75 sensibility? Then Atomic Workers are your band. Oh yeah, and the mighty Om have just returned with their ultra-essential second LP CONFERENCE OF THE BIRDS (Holy Mountain Records). Side One’s mesmerising 15-minute opener ‘At Giza’ is a highly mysterious raga-metal downer incantation, vocally reminiscent of ‘The Clapping Song’ by Shirley Ellis; while Side Two’s equally-epic but much heavier ‘Flight of the Eagle’ returns to the more familiar post-Sleep territory of last year’s debut VARIATIONS ON A THEME. Hot on Om’s post-DOPESMOKER trail comes the epic judgement of Finland’s Fleshpress, whose FLESHPRESS III (released on Kult of Nihilow) comes in a cross-shaped package similar to the first Marzuraan album, full of photographs of dolmens and young woodland; and whose music and lyrical imagery brilliantly evokes the dark desolation of those sunless northern latitudes. “Becoming soil”, singer Teemu screeches, “slowly becoming soil”. For pure heathen field recording ritual in the vein of Amon Duul 1 and Maru Sankaku Shikaku, I gotta say I’m mesmerised by the Peruvian band Shiva’s Tongue, whose amazing album comes with the spectacular title HIGH ANDEAN FULL MOON TRIPS FEATURING ST. PETER, MISS INDICA & DR. MUSHROOM. This shit stinks so good, brothers and sisters, you gots to take a coupla handfuls of ‘shrooms before baking under the onslaught of their multiple drums and wailing lone guitar wolf out front. Further in than Shiva, but still way way way out on a limb is the wonderfuelled madness of NET THE SERF, the debut LP by Underground (K)no(w) One (available via bytonal@yahoo.co.uk). Claiming to have been recorded in 6000 AD, this is what Simply Saucer woulda sounded like if they’d been from an English holiday resort. Imagine equal parts of Zounds’‘Can’t Cheat Karma’, Half Man/Half Biscuit’s THE TRUMPTON RIOTS and Syd Barrett’s ‘Vegetable Man’ and yooz 90% there. Creepy and catchy as the Desperate Bicycles if they’d been led by Michael Ryan of Hungerford Massacre infamy. Oo ja, mein hairies! There are also a few much older things I finally just got around to hearing, but which you gotta know about. First is the 2003 debut by Spanish power trio Autoa, which came out years ago on Alone Records, and is the kind of full-on instrumental take on early Sabbath that I’d previously thought was the sole domain of UFO-period Guru Guru. Autoa is the real fucking deal, beloveds, appropriating that singular flattened sub-jazz belltone that Lord Iommi nailed most artfully on side one of Sabs’ debut. So please search this sucker out and cop an earful as soon as you can. Also largely unrecognised is the album DIABLO ROTO DE, the epic strung-out Spanish stoner rock by Viaje A800 that came out almost half a decade ago on Custom Heavy Records. If yooz long awaited massively sustained and cumbersome riff-based songs that slip effortlessly between Grand Funk, Rocket From The Tomb and Black Sabbath, then look no further than these gentlemen and their DIABLO DE ROTO.

Finally, as though the passage-of-time theme were not already too fucking hefty in this here Drudion, I gotta tell y’all that today at midday Dorian and I will be joining Merrick and a few road protester friends (Hey Zwee! Hey Helen!) in Newbury in recognition of the 10th Anniversary of the Newbury Bypass evictions. Motherfuckers, can it really be ten years since those grey-suited shark-eyed zone-outs let loose their hounds on our beloved tree-dwellers? Not a full decade, surely, since cherry pickers full of cheery government-sponsored overpaid climbers dislodged our righteous brothers’n’sisters from their perches and delivered them into the arms of seething swarms of hard-hatted brain-dead Millwall supporters on a death trip? Yup, motherfuckers, it would appear that that’s the short and long of it. Don’t time fly when yooz bailing out a leaky lifeboat with a thimble and the sharks are circling? Shit…

Right, I’m outta here, motherfuckers – Newbury first, then off to Brussels to perform a long sub-bass drone masterpiece entitled ‘Habit’ with the mighty Sunn0))). And whilst Messrs. Anderson, O’Malley and company shall all be donning their grim-robes, I’ve appropriated as my garb something similar but even more singular in which to perform. But I’ll remain coy and let you wait to see the photographic evidence… much later.

Love Fucking Peace,

JULIAN (Lord Yatesbury)