Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

The Chameleons
Script Of The Bridge

Released 1983 on Statik
Reviewed by Le Samourai, 17/07/2001ce

Man:”It is autumn before the winter comes man’s last mad surge of youth.” Woman (to Man):”What on earth are you talking about?”

And thus begins an intense Post-Punk classic. I guess I must be on a “Debut Album” kick (hope you don’t mind) as this is the debut LP by The Chameleons: Lead Singer/Lyricist/Bassist Mark Burgess, Guitarists Dave Fielding and Reg Smithies and drummer John Lever. The madness that is modern life has obviously gotten to Mr. Burgess and he and his bandmates address it powerfully on Script Of The Bridge. The whole band surges, blasts, burns and slashes on a desperate search for sanity.

And while Mark Burgess despairs over the modern world he’s more than wise to the ways of it. “Don’t Fall” starts off this chilling set warning against giving in to society. “Here Today”, “Monkeyland”, “Second Skin”, “A Person Isn’t Safe Anywhere These Days”, “Thursday’s Child” all depict harrowing portraits of modern life through the eyes of Burgess. “Up The Down Escalator” and “As High As You Can Go” rip open modern business practices.
Lyrically Burgess’s main concern seems to be debates on
philosophy and isolation and other side effects from numbing individual social indifference (or at least that’s how I see it.) Guitarists Fielding and Smithies become half-wrecking crew, half-skilled painter’s brush as crushing riffs become pastoral passages then back into crushing riffs again. John Lever is also the secret weapon of the band as his inventive drumming behind Burgess’s strident bass keep the grooves crisp and propulsive.

And yet they still time for tenderness as you’ll find out on
“View From A Hill.” Let me just quit waxing poetic here and say check this album (or CD on Dead Dead Good records) if you can. And if you like that then do check out their other 2 LP What Does Anything Mean Basically? and Strange Times.

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