Friday, October 24, 2008

Robyn Hitchcock - black snake diamond role (1981)

Robyn Hitchcock's debut was above all a great pop record, as seen in the airy power-pop "Man Who Invented Himself", the sugary boogie "Meat", the disco parody "Do Policemen Sing". Occasionally presenting himself as the new-wave version of Syd Barrett, like in "Brenda's Iron Sledge" (Arnold Layne era), or Jim Morrison ("Lizard").

A more original recipe can be found in "Acid Bird" (Byrds-ian guitars, funk bass, martial beat, lysergic melody, choral background), "I Watch The Cars" (a hard rock, surf, psych and punk pastiche), or even the melancholy ballad "Love".

Psych or not, the common denominator between all the songs is the catchy singalong melodies. Get it here.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

In Camera - fin (1982)

Dark-punk underachievers In Camera's swansong, Fin (actually a Peel session), was released in 1982. The band excels in creating a claustrophobic atmosphere in "Apocalypse" (driven by industrial guitar distortions, a frenetic tribal beat and agonizing screams of anguish) and "Co-Ordinates" (with an even more fragmented, metallic and paranoid climate), culminating in "Fatal Day", one of the epics of the cold wave movement: eleven minutes of ominous tension (expressed with slow-motion droning mechanical thrusts) exploding in a paralyzing frozen dance four minutes before the end.

Get it here.