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diskant rewind: Mild Head Injury #11

Posted: September 30th, 2008, by Simon Minter

(Originally posted August 2002)

Mild Head Injury by Simon Minter

Quick! I ran out of time to get a proper, well thought out, carefully structured and reasonably argued music column together, so I’ve instead thrown together a collection of quickly dashed off, barely thought through first impressions of a few CDs and records which have been passing through my crappy stereo of late. Now that’s professionalism.

Study of the Lifeless
CD, American Pop Project AMPOP207CD

Nasty, nasty cover; as if the sleeve of My Bloody Valentine’s ‘Loveless’ has been scanned in badly, and the contrast has been turned way up in Photoshop. And that’s a shame, because this album of shoegazey-style atmospheric music generally hits the spot in a ‘more upbeat Slowdive’ sort of way, with lots of blurry guitars and distant dual vocals. It falls short of the great heights of any MBV, or even Ride’s ‘Nowhere’ (probably because of the lack of aggression featured in much of those two examples), but it’s certainly a pleasing way to pass the time. >>>

Sterling Roswell
Girl from Orbit CD single
Mint/Jungle Records

Sterling Roswell used to be known as Rosco and used to be in Spacemen 3, which means he’s always going to be a stand-up kinda guy to some degree. This is his debut single as SR and sounds like the Shadows duelling with the Shadows of Knight in exceptionally slow motion, in an echo chamber, on the set of Battlestar Galactica, using instruments left behind by Phil Spector several decades earlier. And it can’t be made any clearer than that. It’s somewhat boring, though, strangely enough. Maybe he should have called himself Spacemen 1 and joined the ever-popular tribute band circuit. >>>

Sonic Youth
Murray Street CD

On the Sonic Youth website at the moment it proudly features the quote ‘…their most accessible album in years’, which to me seems very wrong. Because whilst ‘Murray Street’ is a good album, full of beautiful melody and the usual intertwining/ meandering guitar lines which have become familiar over Sonic Youth’s recent couple of albums, it also leaves me wishing, to some degree, that they’d go back to their mid-80s peak of weirdosity and rock out in a goofy stylee some more. I love them, everybody knows I love them, and I’ll play this a lot. But not as much as I play ‘Sister’, ‘Evol’ or ‘Daydream Nation’. >>>

Misty’s Big Adventure
I am cool with a capital C CD single
Awkward Records AWKD003

Wow, this is weird, the press release drops all kind of names – Broadcast, Pram, Plone, Bentley Rhythm Ace – but this sounds like one of those literary style bands in the vein of Tindersticks, Jack and various things which used to come out on Setanta. It’s all eclectic instruments, self-consciously ‘knowing’ lyrics, pin-sharp production and arrangement, and I-just-wasn’t-made-for-these-times obliqueness. That’s all well and good, but music along these lines sometimes has a strange habit of making me angry… but I don’t want to burden you with my hangups. >>>

Phlegm, Telemak, Electroscope, Stasola, Francois Michaud
Lykill Records sampler CD

NOW! Watch me fit in detailed and explanatory descriptions of the three different records showcased on this CD. The Phlegm/Telemak 12″ is three tracks from the former (from soporific repetitive, wonderful intensity to angry, dazed riffing) and one from the latter (Rachel’s meets GYBE! in a random way). Electroscope and Stasola share a 7″ with scary-childrens’-books-stream of consciousness music on one side and Can-styled deranged and stretched out blues on the other. Francois Michaud and Stasola on another 7″ get all ‘le drum et le bass’ on your ass. This is a great CD. >>>

Primal Scream
Evil Heat LP
Columbia 508923 1

God bless you Primal Scream for sounding like a combination of early Pink Floyd, gospel choirs, Suicide, The Byrds, pissed-off Depeche Mode, Atari Teenage Riot, Motorhead, Loop, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Kraftwerk, The Fall, White Album-era Beatles, and all of your earlier records combined! This is a fantastic album which seems to have taken the angry elements of ‘Xtrmntr’ and made them angrier! A sharpened bolt of light directed straight into the centre of your eye. As a friend recently summed up, “Primal Scream! Fucking yes!!” >>>

Simon Minter

Simon joined diskant after falling on his head from a great height. A diskant legend in his own lifetime Simon has risen up the ranks through a mixture of foolhardiness and wit. When not breaking musical barriers with top pop combo Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element or releasing records in preposterously exciting packaging he relaxes by looking like Steve Albini.


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