The sleeve notes to this album are worth your perusal. Stan, the man behind Howl in the Typewriter, sent a number of these tracks into various record companies or promoters for inclusion on a number of interesting projects and compilations. Some were successful, some, like the track Uninspired, sent to sit proudly on a compilation of silence, or Etiquette (a track that would grace an LP based around the life of Vincent Price) were not. Now, this should give the uninitiated an idea of the world of Howl in the Typewriter. It seems to be a world where no idea, however bizarre or sensible gets overlooked. Stan’s vibe is a questing one, looking for answers in the most overlooked of places, and making quite an inspiring racket along the way.
There are some crackers on here, it must be said. Even if you sometimes wonder where Stan’s head is actually at. The opener Subject: Sanctuary is a great song: a menacing, restless argument underpinned by a fuzz bass part of some power. I also love Drifting, not only because of its drugged up sloth, but also for its great lyrics: (“There’s a tortoise retreating from ambient rage”)…. Three Course Collision is also a great number, a fuzzy sing-along with bags of charm.
Stan’s vibe is a very personal one. No punches pulled, regardless of the sonic template. A good example is the one-two that appears early on in the LP: contrast the amicable sub/lo-fi-Fall rumble of Like An Astronaut or the batty squeaking on Mediaevil. Both are pretty personal, one dealing with a simple crush; the other, quite surprisingly, attacking the Paparazzi responsible for the death of Diana Spenser. There’s also the downright eccentric: as well as the tracks mentioned in the opening paragraph (all of which are hardly standard tracks) you can listen to the unhinged duo of I Am The Owl, and More Water. I Am The Owl splodges around amiably enough before morphing into the kaleidoscope of samples that is More Water, which is, quite frankly, off its head. Nowhere Tonight is how to blow up a car set to music. And Reptiles A-Z is exactly what you’d guess the song to be.
The undoubted pièce de résistance on Judas Kiss, though, is Stan’s take on the Boredoms LP, Soul Discharge. This is no ordinary tribute, as the whole LP has been edited in the shape of the song Sole Discharge. As well as being a feat of no little inspiration, the track itself is a master class in off-the-cuff editing, and sits up there with the Faust Tapes for me.
I’d get this, quite simply because I can guarantee you’ll have nothing as remarkably individual as this record in your collection. Highly recommended.