Sunday, 1 November 2015

The Listening Club - 1st November 2015

Greetings folks,

Hope you're all fine and dealing with your halloween-induced sugar-enhanced hangovers, if you're that way inclined. Not so fussed about it personally, although it did tickle me to see some rather gruesomely dressed and made-up sights trundling back and forth on their bikes last night - a two-wheeled zombie apocalypse? Only in Amsterdam...

Last week we were stretching our perceptions in a very different way with the #surrealvortex, which was really rather excellent fun indeed - many thanks to you all for the selections and the ormolu.

Back in regularly-scheduled-programming land, we find @DaveW clutching his debut frisbee, so here he is with the pre-match...

"When Eric tossed the frisbee in my direction I've got to say my instinct was to hide under the duvet and pretend it hadn't happened. I've been lurking around here for a while, had my mind blown by a few of the choices, opened up to some new music and, ahem, don't want to let you all down!

After much umming and aahing, headshaking and telling some real world friends what a mess I'd got myself into, I started pondering why my shelves and hard drives are cluttered with such a jumble. And I thought back to 14-year-old me, in the playground of a horrendously violent all-male school.

1979. We didn't know who we were. Mates that wore brand new Harrington jackets were unfathomably listening to new wave of British heavy metal, punks flirting with hair stiffening products seemed to be clutching Two Tone releases, kids in denim were humming songs from The Jam's Setting Sons. Addled by a diet of solvents and diet pills, we were a mixed up bunch, all swapping vinyl because none of us could make up our minds who we were.

Which is how I came to this album. A friend of mine was telling me how it was better than everything else the genre had to offer and the next thing I knew I was taking it home on the bus, marvelling at the crazy, DIY nature of the stencil-laden and collage-a-go-go cover, and couldn't wait to drop it on to my low-rent Fidelity record player.

What I discovered is what I hope you'll be down with. A jaw-dropping, intelligent racket, if ever there was one. A wall of sound, grating guitars, stolen bits of audio, a healthy dose of profanity, plenty of politics and some excellent humour. It was an antidote to everything else around at the time and, dare I say it, was a damn sight more 'authentic' than pretty much everything I'd listened to up to that date (and most things since).

It's long. In its vinyl form it's a double album (although three sides played at 45rpm). And the last 30 minutes give you a chance to here the raw nature of the band playing live. Although you might have given up on it by then.

Not sure what you'll make of it. I might be asked to leave after this. But I hope you're able to appreciate something that I continue to play. It means something. As all of the choices on here do. Enjoy, if you can."

Righty ho. Fidelity-owners club represent! Direct download is here, and the HearThis stream is...

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