The Archdrude at the Four Stones of Clent, near Stourbridge - 27th of June 2007CE
I gots to say the English summer got off to an appalling start what with the downpours throughout the Solstice and the iron gauntlet with which the fuzz chose to police Glastonbury and Avebury. Even for we locals, Avebury was impenetrable as hoards of boys in blue did everything in their power (and more) to keep ye heathens at bay. Instead of hanging at the stones with the revellers, I chose to stay in and get para-munted with The New Lou Reeds’ amazing ‘Bury Me With My Bong’ playing on endless rotation. Meanwhile, Glasto-bound friends of mine from the Midlands band Fuck Me USA were busted not at Glastonbury itself, but at dear old leafy Michael Wood services between Gloucester and Bristol. From the horror stories I’ve heard about Glastonbury’s public toilets scene down the decades, the full be-Marigolded finger up the jacksie is the last thing you need before entering Stalag Eavis. Sheesh! Officers, if you remove everybody’s drugs before they even get to the site, you leave everyone no choice but to get pissed out of their minds for the following days. Don’t the authorities understand that without the drugs, the corporate indie shit (and sexagenarian rock re-unions) that Glasto nowadays peddles as so-called Alternative is wetter than the inevitable accompanying downpour. Now, perhaps if we were all to declare rock’n’roll as our religion and marijuana as its chosen blessed sacrament, then maybe the bozo authorities would have no choice but to let us through, burning wand in hand and Bez-style revelatory stare on each of our blank phizzogs.
UNHOLY & UNLIMITED by Tangorodrim
Self-titled by Silvester Anfang
MORTISE & TENON by Sapat
FREE RIDE by Causa Sui
THE SEA SWELLS A BIT by Aidan Baker
Self-titled by KTL
Talking of being drunk to the point of incorporeal oblivion, motherfuckers, the best black metal I’ve heard recently has to be the UNHOLY & UNLIMITED LP from Israel-based alcoholics Tangorodrim. Apparently, they formed from the ashes of two Russian bands named Blizzard and Asmudus, and their name actually means ‘alcohol’. Escaping from Greg Anderson’s mighty Southern Lord label (www.southernlord.com
), this lo-fi bunch first grabbed my attention because of the band’s self-description as ‘anti-priest unholy black metal’ (song titles on this record include ‘Priestkiller’ and the brilliant ‘Six in the Coffin Not Including the Priest’). But while Tangorodrim’s typical Darkthrone-style Nordic black metal really smokes my pole, brothers’n’sisters, what really grabbed me was their extremely Russian claim to be most influenced by the alcohol consumption of such drink-soaked bands as AC/DC and Mötörhead. Yowzah! Those seeking further ritual dissolution of the mind should seek out the incredible ‘official debut’ by Belgium’s free-form snot-gobblers Silvester Anfang, who call their music ‘funeral folk’ (see www.funeralfolk.be
) and take their name from the German new year. Across two hugely epic tracks, these lunatics’ demented psychedelick hogwash of chorale vocals, free-form lead guitar, eerie minor-chord organ and Nadja-style drum decay conjures up comparisons with modern masters such as Death Comes Along and Shiva’s Tongue, as well as evoking the ‘committing-a-body-to-a-Danish-bog’ Iron Age rituals of very early T. Dream, Le Stelle di Mario Schifano, and YETI-period Amon Duul 2. I’m convinced the chick licking the skull on the album cover is intended as a faithful visual representation of what’s taking place within the album’s micro-grooves. Released on the excellent Aurora Bourealis label, would it be too disappointing to admit that this is also superb music for exercising to?
For those of you entranced by all the commune voodoo conjured up by Valley of Ashes, Zodiac Mountain, Astral Blessing, Burnt Hills and the rest of the post-Sunburned Hand of the Man genre, I suggest you check out MORTISE & TENON, the new LP by the collective known as Sapat. Released on Philadelphia’s fabulous Siltbreeze label (responsible for Temple of Bon Matin’s all time classic THUNDER FEEDBACK CONFUSION), these harbingers of the chaotic new US underground commune scene further remind us that, while America’s sickeningly pious Bible Belt are currently enjoying two terms of George Dubya Bush’s ultra-cynical right wing world destruction, there are literally thousands of Yankee refuseniks out there whose children will never be raised to salute the Star Spangled Banner, preferring instead to collect in caves and holler the nights away like mom’n’dad taught them to do! Next up, I have to recommend Denmark’s proto-metal dunderheads Causa Sui and their superb new second album FREE RIDE. Released on the German record label Elektrohasch Schallplatten (www.elektrohasch.de
), herein, Causa Sui generally inhabit a world of brutal psychedelia, effortlessly barfing out sub-Stooges, sub-Montrose, sub-Comets On Fire (plenny o’Von Harmonson-isms here, kiddies). Bizarrely, they’ve chosen to commence this current record with a right old summer breeze of a ditty. The rest of the time, however, they stick to sheer exhilarating mung worship of the OUTSIDEINSIDE Blue Cheer variety (Jakob Skott the drummer is obviously a Paul Whaley devotee and a brilliant sleeve artist to boot) while the epic chest-beating sub-sub-Sammy Hagar-meets-Jimbo Morrisonisms are fucking fabulous enough to forget both Glenn Danzig AND Ian ‘Hate’ Astbury. YeeHah! Now, please excuse my using these pages once again to big up Nadja’s Aidan Baker, but this druid’s jumped ship from his band this month, and brought forth a quite spectacular solo album, on Italy’s A Silent Place label (www.asilentplace.it
), that goes by the name of THE SEA SWELLS A BIT. True to its title, the themes of this massive three-track album are entirely nautical and, whilst not so truly damaged as Nadja’s often-catastrophic soundscapes, its three vast cuts still evoke the sounds of the lonely mariner adrift on some enormous and un-navigable ocean. Outstanding stuff. I’ll conclude this month’s rant with praise for the superb KTL album, the latest project by the ever-achieving Stephen O’Malley of Sunn0))) and Khanate. For KTL, O’Malley has got together with English electronics composer Peter Rehnberg to create an enormous record whose subterranean tumult increases five-fold everytime it drops on to my CD player. Maybe it’s just a combination of Herr O’Malley’s mind-blowing technical expertise plus endless dedication to walking-it-like-he-talks-it. Either that or he has located a secret formula that is currently out of reach to we more sonically challenged humans. Whatever the reason, this is stupendous and effortlessly epic healing music that works tirelessly to reduce listeners to their most simplified shamanistic selves, and is available through Rehberg’s own label Editions Mego (www.editionsmego.com
Okay, before I quit this month’s Drudion, just a quick note to signal my relief that the CD version of my latest album YOU GOTTA PROBLEM WITH ME is, after several hold-ups, finally ready and available for your delectation (vinyl available August 1st). Also, for those requiring a Julian Cope show of the proto-metal variety, I shall be playing a full band show at the early August Highland festival at Belladrum, near Inverness. Finally, as it’s pouring down as I write this at 7.02am on July 1st, I do hope this peculiar weather doesn’t spoil the summer too much for those of you with holidays already booked, especially if you’re intending to remain in the UK.
Love on y’all,
JULIAN (Lord Yatesbury)