Julian Cope’s Album of the Month

Residual Echoes

Residual Echoes

AOTM #56, January 2005ce
Released 2004 on Big Drum
Side One
  1. Beginning & Slant (12.30)
  2. The Diamond Drops (11.28)
Side Two
  1. Fish Don’t Swim (1.23)
  2. This is not A START (1.07)
  3. A START One & Two (3.29)
  4. A STARDT Three & Three-and-a-half (8.09)
  5. A Better Substitute for Butter and Ending(6.09)

Note: From my dugout, almost the only put-your-head-above-the-surface people nowadays seem to be modern Americans, their manifest destiny being to their credit and detriment also. Here at Poundland, however, Euros we don’t want any and neither – so it seems - do Europeans, because it’s costing them all a fortune. Even my Italian publishers say so, so it ain’t xenophobic me babe. But when will we get America’s next Poet Dylan to rival textually such mossive instrumental deliveries as the below described? I mean, Guns’ errant and RAW POWER-ish "One in a Million" is still my fave of theirs, even if it do make Alexis de Tocqueville turn in his grave (and I suppose Axl’s erudite and earth-shaking "Don’t Damn Me" was an apologia of sorts). So all ye Wise Ass Crackers with a neo-Black butt shakin’, you gits gots to be out there and lay some Ant-rap down, and you ain’t gonna be Devendra Banheart fer shit damn shure! C’mon boobies, I’m coming over the Atlantic to search you out come late March of this year, so clue me soontime. But, in the meantime…

Note 2: This review is dedicated to the late Trevor Manwaring, underground prime mover and champion of the English scene, and also to Brian Turner, self-styled schock jockey of WFMU, who turned these suckers loose on me in the first place.

This is a start

Does this music of Residual Echoes sound like the ultimate inner soundtrack issuing forth from the collective unconscious of readers of this review? Yes, the maximum, the summum bonnum, the All Golden, perhaps for some the highest. With the release of this major debut from San Fransisco’s Residual Echoes, welcome to the New Year, Motherfuckers! Moreover, there’s no sexism or racism within these grooves, no songs of scarred old slavers whipping the women, no rampant Priapus crowing over his sprawling and reluctant fellatresses, just good ole rock’n’roll for the trepanned men and women of this 21st century. Verily, when the barmy fuzzface post-everything of Residual Echoes first razed my teepee to the ground a coupla weeks ago, I was too busy hiding behind the sofa to notice that they wuz dragging behind their chariots the festering corpses of their rock’n’roll heroes in a splendid effort to keep we commentators on the scent. And all came marching marching through my stereogram imprinted into that cracking old timer format… Vinyl! Unquenchable thrills! The music of psychedelia (and for some the maximum beginnings of heavy metal) truly only lurks in the sounds of the inbetween. So, and what more inbetween than the days December 26th through 30th, when even Old Auntie Maiden Maud has no real inkling what the clock says; when even the CEO of McDonald’s washes up drunken on the piss, his house number forgotten in the taxi, he’s a right fucking state. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, this is even one more than for the Seth Man, indeed even our own Comets on Fire fan will redeem his Our Price Records voucher in preference to pluck from Midheaven.com and suchlike the Vinyl-only of this… Residual Echoes! Who are those guys, some of them girls, who make the rattle of Death seem easy meat compared to their debut rock’n’roll record without need of re-mix, printed sleeve, nor even labelling for sides one or two? Hey, brothers and sisters, yup you got it and it’s crossing your lawn now, humbled and stumbling Post-its from Hell writ only on the sly side of a passing fox fixing to die.

Herein the grooves of RESIDUAL ECHOES lie the scrambled fragments of minds informed by the passing Cleveland taxi radio blaring IN THE HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN GRILL as performed by The Electric Eels, with the ur-whinnying David E on ‘first time musette’. Or was it the intro to Chrome’s HALF MACHINE LIP MOVES blaring through the Dansette of Ed Wilcox, as accompanied by the three-prong synthesizer attack of Bon Matin’s BULLET INTO MESMER’S BRAIN-period nontet? Residual Echoes is the psychedelic, the utmost, the highest confusal beyond worlds – more even than juxtaposing a Sudafed/Actifed-informed belly ache with ‘Why Don’t You Eat Carrots?’ during J. Peel’s first Faust phase 34 years ago; by the same post-Monoshockian wall o’noise that Von Elbowed Messrs Miller, Flashman, Harmonson, Chasny and Belcher in the face during that ‘tweentime between Comets’ own vinyl-only debut and the sublime FIELD RECORDINGS FROM THE SUN.

The leader of this sect Residual Echoes that serves up such illegal product goes by the name of Adam Payne. That’s right, Adam the First Man of this the first year, who is called ‘Payne’ in the ass of Humankind. He has monster bollocks that shake, and his only respite from such discomfort is to plague us all with a kind of Mucus Concrete, something like Utopia Carcrash playing Hapshash & the Coloured Coat playing Stockhausen’s HYMNEN, or maybe something like the Japanese Group Ongaku LP as played by their more rhythmically motivated Amalgamation brethren; but being also an in-bred love child of Amon Duul 1’s most ramshackle DISASTER-period and Amon Duul 2 at their most proto-metal (nay, two in-bred offspring if you count the Karuna Khyal and Brast Burn sacred twins [which themselves bring in ‘I walk on Gilded Splinters’-period Dr. John as refracted through the lens of Mr Obi’s Exuma]. Yup, the rhythm section of this Residual Echoes band gallumps along looser than Hansel & Gretel laying trails of crumbs along the forest’s ferny floor.

Imagine sandals of the Open Toad variety, the foot broken with many individual toffee hammer blows across each bone separately, rather than the giant flattening weight. This is the sound of Residual Echoes. Their bass is not impressive and stops soon after its commencing. Next, though, debilitating synthesizers geek’n’splutter like this Adam guy has no choice but to up-end his own muse, and militant, free rock’n’roll descends upon us from the boiling metal cauldrons that Adam has prepared earlier in anticipation of our soon-come future nomadic sauntering inquiringly at the base of his city walls. Jericho of Adam Payne will only be destroyed when we tame his barking mad fixation, and wrestle this devil to the ground, buried up to his neck in sand he will then admit to fear, and apologise his sins. Down sinner, down, down… we are the invaders and you only are the carrier of ill information. Baleful stares! Desist at once as we crack your long cranium and bleed from the issuing wound enough to stall your demonic holler. Boy, you will obey us! Treating the LORD like some big drunk director is not the way forward, but somebody gots to do it. Otherwise, you err on the side of a culture happy to bleat at each other:

"My invisible God is more important than your Invisible God."

Translate that idea for me. Okey d’okey, Lord of the Gallows who hangs out until judgement day. No, not just bodily death, but death everlasting. Back to the Bronze Age, in other words. Death in this world. Get this into your system quick, and learn from the tsunami that Mother Earth unleashed upon south-east Asia – Residual Echoes only will get big when we buy many copies and chart it higher than Girls Out Loud. Overturn the system when you paint out all the road signs in white and let religious maniacs stop the show because it calls their God ‘cunt’. Free your mind with the music of Adam Payne and history stops dead. This music will cure you of time, gentle people. Only then, at the enforced stasis of history, can life truly begin.

I’ve got the Rock’n’rolls again

But enough. Information. In order for Adam Payne to help himself play simultaneously the part of many back members of the group Residual Echoes, also on this recording appear others such as Tom Cabela, whose shirtless drumming adds to the rebel yell of ‘Start 1’. On ‘Stardt 3 and a half’ also comes the drumming of Marcello, whose overdubs are formed of so-called ‘flutophone’, and what’s that? Like Comets on Fire, the unique music of Residual Echoes has created a sect malignant, allied sourcery and nourisher of dread. THIS is the way forward like Ozzie throwing peace signs and screaming ‘We love You’ between songs and even between lyrics. For the inbetween times are the doorways and this is where the results begin and soon multiply into a dozen chasmic orgasms for the ears, and very soon afterwards, also for the mind. Yes, for the mind. Good will prevail, only when rock’n’rollers have shown that:

Hell ain’t a bad place to be!

Translation? The Pope is a witless battery half-man in a battery car making more saints these past years than any other Pope ever, in a splendidly incorrect and half-baked manner dreaming that such actions is the way to thwart the incoming heathenism. Result? Total devaluation of the idea of canonisation. Excellent fuck for organised Mediterranean religion (though of little mark to those saint-hating Proddiz), excellent push for the rock’n’roller. Join up the ranks of fast-flowing musicheads and leave your fear of the physical far behind. With this unbelievable folklorique cosmic jamrag, Residual Echoes joins Monoshock and Comets on Fire in the pantheon of the geographically suitable divinities fit to suck at the juicy tit of Mutha Urd, and grace the slopes of Mt Ararat, all back members carved Mount Rushmore-stylee and staring out like guardian angels across Armenia’s cities in the dust. Please, lovers of music, join me in saying this 2005CE has started as auspiciously as you’d ever dreamt could happen. The Faust is back and his doors are open. As Ettore Rosboch said, as it struck him that first moment that the jamrag should occupy fully side two’s vinyl allotment:

"It’s that simple. And it’s that urgent."

I’m Zoroaster and they can all – Christianity, Islam, Judaism – fuck right off!!!