Friday, February 29, 2008

509. The Birthday Party - Junkyard (1982)

Track Listing

1. Blast Off
2. She's Hit
3. Dead Joe
4. The Dim Locator
5. Hamlet (Pow, Pow, Pow)
6. Several Sins
7. Big-Jesus-Trash-Can
8. Kiss Me Black
9. 6" Gold Blade
10. Kewpie Doll
11. Junkyard


Ok, you can see why Blixa Bargeld would eventually join Nick Cave in a band, this album is strangely close to Einsturzende Neubaten's work, in fact it is possibly even harder to listen to.

Nick Cave sings from the guts here and that is where this album directly affects you, giving you that queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach that all the most guttural art does. Poor Birthday Party, coming from Australia to Britain because here they would be understood with bands like The Fall around... but as the set foot of the plane all was New Romantic.

Even if it weren't New Romantic time, I would find it extrmely hard for this album to ever rise to any kind of success. Yes this is interesting and quality music, but the appeal of the album is very limited. If you want to feel ill, this is a great album to listen to, there is none of the driving rhythms of Einsturzende, this is gloomy as gloomy can be. It makes Bauhaus seem positively cheery.

I must say it is even too much for me to stomach happily, Nick Cave would go on to make much more accessible albums without compromising artistic integrity. I guess we'll have to wait for them (and I can tell you now they are great).

Track Highlights

1. She's Hit
2. Several Sins
3. Dead Joe
4. Kewpie Doll

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

The bulk of the album was recorded with Tony Cohen at Armstrong's Audio Visual (A.A.V.) Studios in Melbourne in December 1981 and January 1982. Additional tracks were recorded in London's Matrix Studios with punk producer Richard Mazda in May 1982. Mazda's previous work with ATV and The Fall had brought him to their attention. Later CD re-issues added the "Release the Bats/Blast Off!" single recorded at London's Townhouse Studio with Nick Launay in April 1981.

The album was a somewhat transitional record for a variety of reasons. In early 1982, Tracy Pew (the band's bass player) was serving an 8 month jail sentence in Australia, and so Barry Adamson was drafted in on bass duties for several tracks. Despite the fact that many of the band members were definitely 'under the influence' through the recording, the sessions resulted in a ground breaking album, full of "sound and fury".

Dead Joe:

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