I was clearing all my vinyl records off my shelves in preparation for a prolonged bout of decorating when I came across "Play More Music" by Consolidated. I took their advice and gave it a spin, the first for a very long time. I always knew it was superb, but I had forgotten just how superb, if indeed there can be degrees of superb.
Firstly, playing the album which intersperses excerpts from their live shows brought back memories of seeing the band live around 1992/3 when they toured Britain to promote this album. The shows were truly incredible not just for the bands committed performances ,but for the videos that accompanied the songs( including graphic stomach churning footage of a sex change operation) and the concluding open mic session where the audience were encouraged to get up on stage and vent their feelings on whatever took their fancy. This often involved chemically altered inarticulate individuals spouting complete gibberish who were usually nowhere near as amusing as the PC glitterati spouting left wing platitudes and making bizarre token gestures like throwing away their shoes because they were made of leather and "like an animal had to die for that". Soon changed their tune when they got outside and it was snowing and minus four.
Consolidated are without exception the most left wing and right on band I have ever heard. They were admirably committed and articulate in their views and I agree with a great deal of what they say. I would agree with more but I am guilty of eating meat and probably quite a few other things as well and that would make me a hypocrite so ....errr... I don't on those issues I suppose. This album is full of the usual political grand standing the band excelled at but they are couched in music and songs that heat up the grey matter like a giant cerebral Bunsen burner while moving your fleshy carapace like a tram on ice skates. "A Day On The Green "is a veritable funked up behemoth. Feminist anthem "You Suck "sung by The Yeastie Girls is incredibly coarse, lewd and quite brilliant. "Tool And Die" whips a righteous storm .The band sing with vein throbbing intensity or rap like the words are coated in bile and offal juice. Apart from their solitary finest moment the incredible single "This Is Fascism" which is an absolute juggernaut of a song "Play More Music" is their greatest achievement.
The live excerpts are relentlessly mirthful and drop the levels of intensity and obdurate posturing .Without them the album would probably become overbearing. Their inclusion reveals a welcome shaft of humour and that the band despite their hard line stance on most things on don't take themselves too seriously. Lesser talents than Consolidated should take note.
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Much like the timeless works of contemporary Maestro Frank Zappa, this is a collection of mostly live recorded social diatribe & brillianty crafted music. Like Zappa, Consolidated are exceedingly misunderstood voyeurs who (like me) are just really screaming out for the ignorant majority to be a little more aware.
Their particular genre on this recording leans on the dance fraternity with heavy, industrial dance beats inter-mingling with rap & the Hendrix-Santana influenced guitar of the main music collaborator, Adrian Sherburne on the track "Day on the Green". Check out Sherburne's solo album "Childman" for his own particular view.
A friend many years ago, switched me on to this ethos by playing me this album. I hope this review switches you on to it too.