Dark thought this record is, it’s not depressing, and it doesn't bring you down. Cathartic maybe, listenable definitely. Loveable? Very probably.
The cover is a classic too; the street battle scene is a statement of intent in a new setting, a case, maybe of saying, no, this is how you do it, you fey fucks…
Tracks like Mind & Matter’s I’m Under Your Spell, or is the sound of high living or people pretending they are living high, aspirants’ music. That is probably why this Fall/Bunnymen/Smiths fan hated it at the time; I couldn’t see past the shoulder pads to examine what made it tick.
So, a deliberate and quiet entrenchment of some emotional inner space; and whether you think entering into this foggy world of Sawyer’s thoughts and feelings is worth it is, (as Peter Cook once said), “entirely a matter for you”.
So there you have it, another fab slab of High Magicke. I’m not sure this band knows how to make a bad record.
That’s not to say that this LP isn’t enjoyable, it IS; it’s great, a blast even, and at times it kicks off into another dimension, through sheer force of will and the drill-like playing of the band.
There are some tremendously dark, almost Nordic ballads here; such as My Name Is Rune or Nova 88, both getting on a bit of a Marble Index trip...
And in any case, how can you get all hot under the collar about an artist who seems to be sporting a necklace of shrimps on the cover?
It’s a suggestive name, Chrome Hoof; redolent of the polish of sleek modern urban living, of the leather running sooth in the passenger seat and, well, being trodden on by a beast of the field.
The Big Mango is a glorious mess, a true sonic jumble mixing all sorts of sounds that titillate the senses; at one turn it could be a Moondog record, at another it tries to convince you it’s a Soft Machine outtake.
So: if you like modulated synth patterns that hark back to a sort of (imagined) utopian era of cosmic rock, especially ‘73-77, you’ll eat this up.
The sense of defiant melancholy is all over tracks like All This Time, or the incredibly catchy opener, The Wrong Way. It’s very Marc Almond.
So, the squid was beaming some essential info to me after all. We both transmitted and received; yowsa, yowsa, yowsa. Consider this writer a fan of Divorce.
...the onus is on you the listener to put the spadework in to better reveal its charms. It’s akin to being at a party with the lights down low, stumbling around and trying to find groovy people to latch onto.
Them Germans eh?, with their Grünewald and Dix; all this confessional expressionism… it can make you quite dizzy.
If the sound offered by Graveyard Tapes really is ‘their wound’, then it’s an oozy, self-inflicted gash reeking of antiseptic and self-loathing. Let’s hope it doesn’t heal
...John Shuttleworth practising his Casio chops in Johnny Minton’s flat, the North Sea ferry act Anthony H Wilson would have booked on the spot, Soft Cell turning up as the new entertainers in Hi de Hi
This is no clever tribute record mind, or accomplished addition to an already impressive back catalogue; this is a bona fide classic.