Loop - Fade Out

Fade Out

Released 1989 on Chapter 22
Reviewed by Lawrence, 14/02/2013ce

I wasn't initially convinced by this group until I heard the song "Torched" on a magazine flexidisk. What I knew of this group was Forced Exposure magazine's dismissal of them as sub-standard Spacemen 3, who I also hadn't heard yet. I kinda thought both bands were essentially gonna be sub-standard Paisley Underground material, but of course after hearing "Torched" I realized I was wrong. This was alot more teeth-clenching acid-punk very much like the Stooges except if they all tripled bad PCP.

So I bought this album the minute it came out as well as the previous one Heaven's End. Although Heaven's End is more psychedelic and trippy it gave hints of what Fade Out was to be. And Fade Out was more akin to what the hallucinogenic drug experience is like (or I suppose, never having done anything stronger than the occasional joint or once sniffing Liquid Paper...) than any 60s rock band tried. Actually the whole record is so fucked-up you could listen to it straight and it would STILL sound fucked-up. Just imagine guitar so fuzzed-out that it becomes an almost tactile texture, with punky, simplistic drums keeping time enough to make it so gripping. Leads straight from the Stooges first album piled on top of each other until they collide inside your brain... Unlike many retro-60s/70s acts this doesn't become a museum piece, for much of this is filtered with such fucking 70s/80s punk aesthetic, especially in the production.

"Black Sun" (I don't think they intended to imply anything nazi by the way...) almost sounds like a Martin Hannett production with an insistent sound-on-sound guitar riff. "Torched" goes as far as they can without caving-in the studio's floorboards. "Got to Get it Over" even manages to replicate that rhythmic swagger you used to hear on early Chrome albums...

I don't think there's ever been an album like Fade Out before or since, not even by Loop themselves. It stands out amongst music in an otherwise subdued time around the late 80s. Worth looking for...

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