Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Honolulu Mountain Daffodils
Aloha Sayonara


Released 1991 on Mission Discs
Reviewed by Wiggy, 01/09/2005ce


Sometimes you have to kill yourself before anyone takes any notice.
And sometimes even that's not enough.

If ever an artist was "unsung", it was Adrian Borland.
His band, The Sound, were signed with Korova back in the day but have been pretty much written off as also rans in the "cool bands of the early 80's" race with Teardrop Explodes, Bunnymen, Furs, etc - maybe someone who knows more than me should ressurect this band for the rest of us.

For years I wouldn't have known Adrian Borland from my elbow. But "Joachim Pimento"? Now yer talking! For he was head honcho with Honolulu Mountain Daffodils, a band who's additional personnel bore the equally unlikely monikers; "Lord Sulaco", "Zoe Zettnor", "Daiquiri J,Wright", "Franklin Silverheels" and "Kneel Mutton".

In fact, HMD was a pet project of Borland, who released their first album in 1988, citing such influences as Neu! at a time when that probably meant very little to most. I picked up this, their third LP, in 1991 after hearing the remorseless motorik monster "Psychic Hit-list Victim No.8" on a cheap label sampler - it blew me away with its collision of suicide and kraut. It's only 4 minutes long but I could listen to it at full throttle all night, it makes me want to do bad(good) things -"I got psychic Radiation" Yeah!

Most of the rest of this album will not disappoint. All the stuff you like is in there somewhere: Kraftwerk slowy drinking themselves into a stupor on "Electronic Alchoholic", Neu! and La Dusseldorf driving tracks like "Rhine Women and Song" with Vega and Pop in the back, and Hawkwind showing up along the way too. It has a few weak moments, and sometimes it sounds like pastiche, but at over an hours playing time, they can be forgiven.

"Aloha Sayonara" sounds like the work of somebody who liked to buy and listen to a lot of great records, and it's clear on listening to this record that Borland was the kind of man who found his salvation in music. Unfortunately that wasn't enough, as psychiatric illness finally prompted this largely unsung musician to throw himself under a train a few years back.

And so .... Buy this album, get yerself loaded, and raise a glass to the forward, backward and sideways thinking mofo who made it.


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