It's strange hearing the sense of raw energy that informs the music, an energy that could limit as well as inspire, for, as with nearly all records of this period, you do feel that the creation of a sound rather than the song-writing is the driving force…
Pylon – Gyrate Plus
The legendary Pylon; lauded by peers and press, and freshly reformed with a re-mastered version of their art school classic Gyrate (now named, in true Post Punk stylee Gyrate Plus). It's great to hear these tracks so cleaned up and fresh sounding (I had a tape of this LP back in the day, and its quite shocking to hear how good the digital versions of these songs sound). Cool is still an amazing statement of intent, all braggadocio riffing and husky dramatic vocals... Dub is a Pere Ubu-style work out par excellence. I wonder how much they listened to Pere Ubu... they certainly listened to PiL but no matter, it's a stomp of epic proportions. And I'll bet anything that Babes in Toyland really mined this sound some years later... oh well, speculation over.
Pylon's sound wasn't all about choppy rhythms, as they were in many ways an incredibly straight, poppy band, albeit one that stuck rigidly to the Post Punk formula - as Feast on My Heart will amply demonstrate. It's strange hearing the sense of raw energy that informs the music, an energy that could limit as well as inspire, for, as with nearly all records of this period, you do feel that the creation of a sound rather than the song-writing is the driving force... Still, Gyrate Plus is never boring and certainly can't be classed as an easy LP to sit through without wanting to jump around, as it's nervous, sometimes deliberately annoying and at times fairly heavy in outlook... sometimes the song structures aren't a million miles away from the Sabs; (check out Human Body for proof).
Reservations aside, I'd still say that those cool kids, and other archaeologists interested in having impeccable back catalogues need Gyrate Plus.
Words: Richard Foster