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shriekback, "aberrations 81-84 ( + naked apes & pond life)"

This compilation of ancient out takes, b-sides, live versions andremixes leaves one amazed as it's still stunning material, nearby 20years later. There's somehow no logical progression in the runningorder; neither chronological nor from the developing mood whilelistening. Play it on shuffle (or random) mode and you'll get the samewild mixture of all which Shriekback once where famous for;Unconventional use of all styles and instruments, sound explorations,brilliant lyrics chanted or spoken in a nearly hypnotizing manner, awhite funkiness with punk attitude and transforming the song-writinginto a track shaping (alongside The Slits, This Heat, 23 Skidoo, ThePop Group and others).
Captured here is the non-polished side of the early line up : BarryAndrews (Vocals, Keyboards), Dave Allen (Bass), Carl Marsh (Guitar,Vocals) with Martyn Barker (Drums, Percussion).From their well-know material included is only the flip side version of"My Spine Is The Bassline" with complete different vocals layered uponthe basic track, from the 15 cuts here most have never been releasedbefore and only a few in different versions.
It's by no means an alternative "best of" - there already have beenseveral, busy repacked and redesigned during the 90's ( mostlyincomplete as the rights to their recorded output are spread between YRecords, Arista, Island and World Domination ) - more an addition whichcould also serve as an introduction, especially as Marsh and Andrewswhere asked to comment all the tracks which makes it even moreinsightful.
This is actually great stuff, get it while you can as double packincluding the nearly lost 'Naked Apes & Pond Life' album (even ifyou have to search for further details as no bookletcomes along with it). A very unspectacular one at first but it puts adifferent spell on you after a while, not to be compared with their1992 masterpiece "Sacred City" - an album I can't recommend too much.Dave Allen got lost again and Lu Edmonds came back for Guitar and Saz.Naked Apes & Pond Life originates arround 1995 but was not finallymixed nor published until 1999 (as no Record Company ever made too muchmoney with the approach of the Shrieks) when Martyn Barker took overand got involved in label work.
You can't say it's too long clicking in with a barely traditional LPlength of 42 something and a content of just 6 'proper' songs in midst8 mostly short instrumentals, but listening to the perfect 4:26 of"Everything's On Fire", shaped with elegance, sensuality and magic youknow that very well known acts would kill for songs like these and it'snot the total length that makes a release worthwile to obtain.
Don't expect anything. Discover.