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This review is from: From Her To Eternity (Audio CD)
Review of the vinyl, still pristine after 30 years and countless spins this is the drum and bass plus the vocals of added despair as they slide into a paired down and twanging longing for solace. The quietude occuring after the cacophony of the Birthday Party diminished into self destruction and mysanthropic loathing. Just as Bowie caught Berlin angst pre punk this trappped and then bottled it in the post.
Nick found the emotional wrath of the Delta Blues, not the twiddly dum bangaplunk finger fuddling of the late sixties, but the raw rasping hollow voiced black men singing from the end of time about fifty states of despair. Cotton fields of Dixie backstoopers dragged into northern rote machine factories from the shackled, beaten and splayed populations, finally armed with a guitar and electricity. Harmonics in hand they ground out a soul poetry of utter bleakness, all couched in oblique lyrics of having the "blues"- clinical depression to you and me. Except they transcended the diagnosis to deliver some of the most caustic acebral visceral music ever wrought from the human frame.
Nick post BP tapped into this vein and reshaped it into a white angst that swam in tandem with the orginators- Son House, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson, Bessie Smith, Johnny Lee Hooker, Leadbelly and Screaming Jay Hawkins plus countless others.
Nick ensnared the ghostlike essence, its utter barren shake of the fist at a silent ky, the timbres and resonances of the music arise, rather than plunking fingers on too many bar chords and note notations. The crucial differnce between this and the 60's plank spankers is technique versu soul, although Robert Johnson could do both. Exceptions to a rule always exist in the shapes of things to come; Pretty Things, Them, early Who, Yardbirds and Floyd.
So this offering is built on the backs of Black Paul,the death of the dream, Saint Huck lost somewhere on the Mississippi, she loves me she loves me not Wings of Flies, Cabin Fever and the hot and fevered From Her to Eternity, a tour de force, wrapped up in a fevered dream in Wings of Desire. Here on this record it is beaten out in a spleen. Nick was lost somewhere in his bile duct and splashes it all over the record in a splenetic delivery. These were the times of dug wrought emotion, the antithesis to the poptones of mainstream mainliners. They may have had tainted loves but this was sheer pain doused in buckets of blood.
So if you were hesitating; don't tip your toe, if you are expecting sacharine 80's Goth or a king of kitsch performance- this lies somewhere under the rainbow digging a shallow grave for its long lost love.