Sunday, December 18, 2016

joke's lost on me

a band so so great, that became so so... camp

Laibach-levels of ludicrous, but without any irony seemingly

And somehow degenerated from the real menace of "Pssyche" / "Follow the Leaders" / Revelations to a sound somewhere between Judas Priest and Classix Nouveau

but when they were good. ooh..

(Jaz gone AWOL to Iceland , so a deep sea diver stood behind the keyboard in his stead)

I was a still a believer circa Fire Dances - and went to the see them for the second time (Dunstable, supported by Play Dead and UK Decay - the later excellent) (first time was Aylesbury Friars circa the first album, with I think the Prefects as support) - but in retrospect this album was the cusp between the real thing and the hammy sham

it's where the visuals / gestures get overstated, go from shock to shlock, but the musical muscle to back it up thins out a bit... not yet the full commercial crossover attempt of  "Love Like Blood" but less actual (f)ire in the sound....

the first thing that grabbed my ears ever, on Peel

i can hear a bit of SAHB "Faith Healer" in that slicing guitar


fast forward to the 90s - they were on TOTP again with the almost-back-to-form "Pandemomium"

a bit Rage Against for me but still wielding some bulk


  1. 1983 was the year when almost everybody became shit. Or disbanded.

    Strange thing about the mid-Eighties was that it seemed to impregnate the legacy punk bands with the false consciousness that they had to soften their sound and smother their records in artificial "production". Was this partly the influence of the record companies knuckling down on them?

    The outcome was that the fans drifted off, and all these bands have weirdly truncated discographies, where their mid to late eighties stuff has almost no historical or commercial value nowadays compared to their early output.

    Also, you can tell if something was recorded in 1983, '85 or '87 by how oleaginous it sounds - it was a progressive disease. As though the band tried to "go commercial", failed, and thought they hadn't gone commercial enough, so ladled on another four tracks of ambient Fairlight for good measure.

    What a strange, strange period, given that nowadays bands keep the same rough sound for decades if they feel that it works for them.

    Conclusion: the Punks were actually the biggest, most easily commercially manipulated suckers of them all.

  2. I knew I was typing it this post would be Phil-bait!

    Yes it was a rank time, 83 into 84 into 85 into 86.

    That's why They call it the Bad Music Era.

    So many disappointing releases by once-awesome groups.

    and even the still potent forces struggled within inappropriate production

  3. Should've been put down after they lost Youth. Paul Raven put them full on into U2 for Atheists mode and they could never ever stop themselves.

    Heard a track as recently as 2008 and Jaz screamed some lyric about "WE'RE ALL LIVING IN THE PROZAC NATIOOOON", and promptly had to just shut it off in disdain.