Thursday, February 15, 2018

Heavy Metal - LP III

Heavy Metal - LP III
Harbinger Sound 177. LP/DL

With few exceptions there’s very little of what I might term ‘guitar music’ worth listening to these days. Ever since 1984 went into the history books there’s very little coming this way that gets the dander up. I’m dismissing just about everything that comes under the Heavy Metal banner, anything that Heavy Metal spawned, Indie bollocks, Rock yawn, Pop wank, vast swathes of it are nothing but regurgitation, its all been done, its tedious. Those exceptions are rare and you probably know them already; The Fall, Ceramic Hobs, The Country Teasers and if pushed I could probably drag a handful more out of the grey recesses but for the most part guitar music has been going around the hamster wheel for the best part of thirty years now with little sign of anybody jumping off and doing anything original.

So I play Heavy Metal’s third LP and think to myself who would call their band Heavy Metal? Its like calling your band Reggae or Rap or Contemporary Classical. Try Googling that one. Its like calling your band Fish Fingers. Their first two albums were called LP and LP 2. They’re based in Berlin, I think they’re English but its hard to tell, you try getting any info on them. It seems they like their anonymity, the working from the inside, corrupting the body from within. The insert says there’s three of them; Sig Vishnu, Gibby Vortex and Steele Reynolds and with them some instructions on how not to put your underpants on courtesy of a blank faced safety first character.

Theres a track called ‘Hacked by the Russians’ thats a great big sloppy almost five minutes worth of Sig [Gibby? Steele?] shouting HACKED BY THE RUSSIANS amidst a flurry of radio and TV static with Sig [Gibby? Steele?] rolling that Russian ‘R’ until its almost a sneer, there’s a Russian girl talking backwards and the riff becomes a loop that drills in to your sorry head. First track is called ‘Motherfuckers in the City’ and begins with a lengthy sample of kids saying how they hate Heavy metal before a killer guitar riff rips in and Sig [Gibby? Steele?] screams an exaggerated MUTHA-FUCK-AH. Next track is a drum loop with Sig [Gibby? Steele?] singing ‘gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme diphtheria’ and then ‘use your skull as a fucking ashtray’ that ‘fucking’ delivered with a nonchalant venom. ‘Crispy Rat’ shows their humour and a starter sample of a mother and son discussing ‘dead people and vampires’ and what about that time we went in to ‘Marks and Spencer's? End result being a vicious 90 seconds worth of flailing, frazzled guitars. Apparently each album has a cover version and LP 3’s is Cameo’s ‘Word Up’ or as it is here in German ‘Wort Ab’ with Sig [Gibby? Steele?] filling in for Larry Blackmon with a surprisingly not totally out of place version of the 80’s floor filler.  ‘Homo & a Headbutt’ has the urgency and stripped guitar sound of late 60’s Beefheart. ‘Like Two Sheds in One Garden’ has a ukulele intro and a xylophone solo. The former passes in one minute ten the latter in one minute twenty five. Some songs flash by but others linger and the groove gets you. Like last track ‘Tighter Than a Seagull’ [which also has a xylophone solo] and then a locked groove because you can. On glorious golden vinyl too. Oh what joys and not a duff track amongst the twelve

I see Heavy Metal as the sneering bastard offspring of Alex Harvey meets the Cockney Rejects in the sampling department of the BBC. They’re fun. They’re punk. They make me want to jump about. They make me wish I could still get down the front at gigs and go home with all my clothes sweaty. They make me feel young again and there’s not much that come through these speakers over the last god knows how many years thats made me want to do that.

Guitar bands are piquing my interest once again. Is it anything to do with Harbinger Sound? Noseholes, Pisse, Massicot, Nachthexen, Karies, Toylettes, Structure [of which more soon] are all drinking from the well of punk and post punk and producing some genuinely exciting music. Away from Harbinger I’ve taken a liking to the wildly magnificent Idles. Maybe there’s something in the air? Anthemic Indie landfill begone. Rock pap begone. Its time for some Heavy Metal. 


Heavy Metal.

Harbinger Sound

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