Alone In My Grandparent’s Living Room – 29th November 2021

The air in this room is still
No motes of dust floating in sunlight
Each second the grandfather clock creaks
Each hour a church bells delight
Braced against cold, a fire emerges
Blankets removed at the next bell
The crackle and roar has settled now
As the sun struggles up over the hill
The window frost starts running
New roads made on the warming glass
Soon all the bears will awaken
And another day shall quietly pass
The ghosts of this room may gather
But will one day be all forgot
The fire replaced, the window glazed
And the striking of bells will not

The Week That Was – 4th March 1979

Leopold – The Wreck of Hope – 27th November 2021

CD on Total Annihilation Records
I’m always checking out new music, mostly through Bandcamp pages. This album was mentioned on the You Don’t Know Mojack podcast, which is going through the SST catalogue. At the beginning of each episode, the hosts (Brant and Ryan) talk about other items of interest that they’ve been listening to. Brant leans more on the metal side of things whilst Ryan is more in the noise rock direction so my ears prick up when he mentions something he likes and so it was with Leopold. I had a quick listen on their Bandcamp page and liked it enough to contact them about buying the CD.

Usually, I’m fine with just a digital copy but I think I was feeling comfortable with my bank account balance at the time that I shot off an email to find out how much it would cost to get a copy sent to Thailand. It was ridiculously expensive, the shipping costing one and a half times more than the actual CD. But having made the enquiry I felt obligated to buy it and in the end, glad that I did.

Quebradita Num. 4
This pummelling intro has me hooked already. Jesus Lizard-like, before a change of pace into a chugging bassline and some screeching guitars that have a wonderfully sharp tone. And here’s the riff, which has a nice Drive Like Jehu melody and timbre. The vocals are reminding me of my good friends from When Chimps Attack. I think this could have been what attracted me to buy this CD. I still wish the Chimps had made 10 more albums, so this is a nice addition to my album collection. Some nice high neck guitar action breaks into the melodies and then there’s this funky Iron Maiden break. Er…perhaps funky isn’t the right word. It’s great!

Yes My Love
Oh, some skronking sax! Excellent. Great off-kilter rhythms that swell to a wicked bouncing chorus, if it could be called a chorus. Air punching, floor punching good stuff. Followed by a spacious guitar to let the bass and drums flow. Nice dynamics. Now chilling…is it going to stop? It feels like a wind-down. And that’s it.

Junior Perkins
Jesus – it’s the Ace of Spades warped into a noise rock blur with buried vocals trying to punch their way out of a sleeping bag. The guitar tone is sharp and piercing, just the way I like it. Doubled vocals make me want to sing along but all I can make out is ‘get me out of here.’ I think I would like these lyrics. And it’s over as quick as you like.

(Another Killer In) Texas
A nice switch of pace after the previous frenzy but the whole band soon gets busy again, pulling everything together into a ferocious pounding force. Sinister and foreboding the song lurches forward, stalking the listener down the darkened streets. Suddenly cornered and roaring, the killer pounces, your guts are twisting, head exploding. Here it comes again. You’re dead.

A galloping pace, this one jumps out of the gate and feels like it won’t let up. A break comes a couple of minutes in which allows some breathing space before the anticipated relaunch. A great drum rolling finale puts the final full stop in the sentence. The bag is broken.

The Wreck of Hope
Is this the opus rock-epic title track? This reverbing intro could go anywhere. Thankfully it dives into a gripping riff-heavy verse and staccato chorus and post bridge these soaring guitars are taking my mind off to faraway places. I’m back now.

Kentucky Nurse
A no-wave guitar freak-out leads this off before we get back to the brutality with an epic guitar sliding riff, flying off a cliff into some dark air. This is bringing me back to the best Chimps work.

Holy ripping intros of death, Batman! Some exceptional noise rocking noise rock, all too brief but nailing each idea to the wall and screaming ‘THIS IS IT’

When Cousins Marry
A creeping pace with some Yow like whispers, from Jack Brewer no less, before a lovely sax (?) riff gets added to the mix. No chords in sight so far….oh wait – here they are and we’re off, rolling down the freeway, overtaking the Tar Babies on the inside lane, skronking off the turnpike, heading nowhere in particular and without a care. Damn, that drummer is tight, holding the falling bumpers together. Train coming!

Brick Full of Tables
The rhythm section is freaking exceptional I realise by now, having paid too much attention to the guitar tone at first. Ah, this one has a buried chorus I would like to scream into the faces of all the idiots who’ve wronged me. I’ve no idea what they are saying but I’m absorbing the passion. More freak out guitar before coming together for the chorus again. Time is flying along and I want the songs to last forever. But now we’ve disintegrated together and I’m spent.

There’s lots of great noise rock out there and I can’t quite put my finger on what sets this apart from many of its contemporaries. But, apart it stands.

Favourite songs on this listen: Junior Perkins and Brick Full of Tables.

Breakout – 26th November 2021

The steeples point to heaven
Yet my feet are here on earth
The cities yield to the dirt
Whilst the woods exercise their mirth
Solace amongst the battlements
Whilst treading familiar paths
Breath deep the cool pine air
The sun sets upon our gentle hearts
United in our spiritual mores
This ghostly presence felt
Brings gladness to my heart
For these present tidings dealt

Coy Maids Yield – 23rd November 2021

A peach, not yet ripe, hangs tempting
Soft fur on skin clear and pale
Untouched by the hands of fate
A heart grows older, lamenting
This light will never be the same
When summer arrives, the crow is late
And so shall end this game

The gravity tugs at all the fruits
Suspended like puppets, dancing on the wind
The ripened fall among the flowers
As the strings begin to yield and bend
Gently whispered words that sour
As hungry wolves gather sniffing
In search of fresh fruits to devour

No new ideas found under Newton’s tree
What is gone will bloom again
Forbidden fruits in gardens green
Cherries picked, hummingbird and bee
Seeds spread to await cold rain
The coy maids pollen floating free

The Week That Was – 25th February 1979