Spring Equinox sunrise over Yatesbury
It’s spring already? No fucking way! Up here on the Marlborough Downs this past month, while I’ve been too busy keeping my head down working to notice the days passing, we’ve had pussy willows and newts appearing at the village pond, followed by snow storms and showers of sleet. Indeed, putting the clocks forward an hour a short while ago even comforted me that the year was not whizzing by quite so fast as the early mornings briefly appeared to get darker. But now it’s Eostra time already and umpteen projects are gathering momentum. While my new album YOU GOTTA PROBLEM WITH ME is almost ready for its May release date, I’ve also been working on THE FRONT BOTTOM OF HELL, the debut album by singer Lucy Brown, and putting together a big 3CD project for Bristol’s Invada Records entitled THE DOOMSDAY BOOK. This last project features music by Stephen O’Malley, Orthodox, Atavist, Slomo and LAMF, plus a long essay I’ve written about the manner in which many prehistoric sites were later appropriated as law centres by the incoming Danes, Saxons and Normans. This lavish package has got a late-October release date and should shift your perceptions of doom away from notions of death to judgement, so… er, look out!
TOP BILLIN' by The New Lou Reeds
THIRD TOGA PARTY FROM THE SUN by Benbeneck
DAZE ON THE MOUNTS by Dredd Foole
BRIDGET HAYDEN by BRIDGET HAYDEN
GOAT GODDESS CONSPIRACY by Warchetype
I GOT A BRAND NEW EGG-LAYIN' MACHINE by Goon Moon
In the meantime, one of my favourite albums of the past few months has most certainly been TOP BILLIN’ by Cleveland’s cantankerously named power trio The New Lou Reeds. Quite why such an epic performer as guitarist/singer Stephe DK should have chosen to lumber himself with such a band name is quite beyond me, for the music is unique and entirely uninformed by the Velvets. Imagine a guitar tone shot through with that same low grade gasoline astringency as John Fogerty’s when Creedence were at their most monotonously and monolithically proto-Krautrock (‘Suzie Q’, ‘Pagan Baby’, the second half of ‘Ramble Tamble’), then add a little ornery and perpetually pissed off vocals in the style of TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT-period Neil Young as sent through a ‘Crocus Behemoth’ filter. Finally, add a hefty and inventive rhythm section of solid granite and you approach The New Lou Reeds’ pleasure centres. With TOP BILLIN’, Stephe DK has far surpassed his band’s excellent debut SCREWED, and now just needs to get on the road long enough to hit us with an old style 2LPs per year so as to allow people enough time to fall in love with his obstinacy. He’s a star, brothers’n’sisters, of that I have no doubt. Grab a copy of this slow burner from exitstencilrecordings.com
and work at it. We neeeed Stephe DK. We also need THIRD TOGA PARTY FROM THE SUN, debut magnum opus from one-piece barbarian Benbenek, on Houseplant Recordings. Chock full o’catchy bastard songs, ditties, and observations, this stupendous work inhabits a bizarre sonic hinterland midway between Tom Lehrer and the Butthole Surfers. Imagine a line drawn directly between the post-traditionalist avant-garde of Van Dyke Parks’ CLANG OF THE YANKEE REAPER and David Axelrod’s SONGS OF INNOCENCE, and such theta meditations on post-war American culture as Zappa’s LUMPY GRAVY, Armand Schaubroeuk’s SHAKIN’ SHAKIN’ and Kim Fowley’s GOOD CLEAN FUN. If any of you were ever in doubt that the West is the Best, take a gander at it all through a coupla minutes of Kurt Benbenek’s visionary lens, and commence your blubbering for an imaginary time gone by. From the opening bars of ‘The Wreck & Subsequent Repair of the Old 97’ to the fade of ‘Dooded Up For You’, this is psychological comedy at its finest, and should be accessed via firstname.lastname@example.org
. Freaks of all descriptions should bulk buy copies of DAZE ON THE MOUNTS by American singer Dredd Foole, whose strung our cacophonous wailing comes on at first like Dino Valente’s self-titled LP, before devolving into pure ecstatic catatonia. It’s like Tim Buckley’s HAPPY SAD got kidnapped and taken back in time to jam with the late ‘50s Tokyo experimental scene. Imagine Taj Mahal Travellers’ leader Takehisa Kosugi ring-modulated ‘Love from Room 109 at the Islander’, and you’ve almost nailed D. Foole’s pleasure centres. Released on Family Vineyard Records, DAZE ON THE MOUNTS is so sparklingly and nerve-tinglingly alive that it makes you weep with joy that he exists. Next, I been digging the merciless black metal meditations of Vibracathedral Orchestra’s Bridget Hayden, whose self-titled debut is available from email@example.com
. Man, the noises emanating out of Leeds, Sheesh! Still, as I got married there once back in the late ‘70s, I’ve never forgotten the inner Beirut created by its geographical location at the confluence of the M1, M62 and river Aire. La Hayden’s five pieces are, in places, reminiscent of Israeli noise terrormongers Poochlatz, the whole schmeer concluding with the 18-minutes of ‘Do I Have to Speak in Heat?” Madam, from the evidence presented, you most certainly do! Best metal album of the month must surely be GOAT GODDESS SUPREMACY, the killer motherfucking debut by Barcelona’s superbly named Warchetype. Coming on like barbarian bastard offspring of lost space migrants, this bunch exhibit a total refusal to clock any song in at under 10-minutes long, as this superb CD unloads vast eternities of ‘Into the Void’ MASTER OF REALITY-period Sabbath over which anguished St. Vitus period Wino Weinrich-style vocals declaim incidents of mucho cosmic mystery. Warchetype is the direct link between head-banging and total respiratory shutdown, and it’s available from Alone Records so, hey, these gentlemen are label buddies with the stupendous Orthodox. I guess that figures. Finally, there’s something epic that I totally overlooked – 2 years old already! – and I gots to tell y’all about it… Goon Moon and their debut album I GOTTA BRAND NEW EGG-LAYIN’ MACHINE on Suicide Squeeze Records. Merciful heavens, motherfuckers, if this crew wuz Japanese they’d be cover stars of The Wire magazine in seconds flat. These creeps stink so good they’re like that runny shit French cheese that drips off your knife and turns into maggots. Imagine THE FAUST TAPES played by a full-on hybrid of The Tubes at their most Rundgren-ized sent through a Sabbath filter at its most ‘Let’s Make the Water Turn Black’ Zappa-ized, kinda like that post-everything Jap metal band Sonic Flower if they were into weird time changes. Goon Moon is all analogue synthesizers, sweet vocal harmonies, ludicrously over-achieving percussionist, monster metal riffs with big old shag handles’n’all kinds of vocoder schmoodle. Weirdest thing is one of these Goon Moon dudes is ex-Marilyn Manson! Shocking but true. At 25-minutes in length, this album is up with The Ramones’ debut LP for making their point and fucking off.
Okay, with that I shall quit it and git on preparing for the May shows. Have a superb few days of rest during this so-called spring holiday, but remember to take your pac-a-mac if yooz out for any length of time, as the weather is currently something else!
Love upon y’all,
JULIAN (Lord Yatesbury)