VG01    SOUTHALL RIOT "Into the Chicago Abyss"


from NME
Southall Riot are Stuart and Phil, two men from, er, Southall who like Flying Saucer Attack. And jokes. This, their debut, is a five-track feedback folk EP that comes in a brown paper bag and features a resignation letter on the cover written by Lawrence - the editor of a Syd Barrett fanzine in the early '70s. Who knows why? It certainly hasn't got anything to do with the rest of this magnificent record, which as well as including an epic, ten-minute space-drone called 'The Meaning Of Stars', also features four other songs that sound like Guided By Voices.

from freebase.com
This is sublime. It sounds like it was recorded in a studio built by the expert use of a soldering iron on circuit boards, magnets and coils found in a skip, and it is a long time since I've heard anything with such a purity of intent.

A seven inch single played at 33rpm with four short songs on the first side and one ten minute rhapsody of behind-the-wires-of-the-radiogram-effects-mayhem on side two in the form of The Meaning of the Stars. The ghost of Joe Meek wanders in and out of a lot of what's on offer here. Echo and effects are used with adventurous joy, rather than polished and empty sophistication, and the primitive nature of the production lets the very essence of pop music spill forth in gigantic waves. This is the essence so often lost beneath the talk of shifting units.

'Just As You Thought' is an utterly majestic song, with a voice to make you weep at its sincerity and warmth, while the simplicity of the guitars playing behind it just magnify the glory. 'Model Theory ' evokes some of the qualities of Joe Meek's 'I Dream of a New World', and all the promises of untamed existence that it contains.

While retaining the ecstasy of the moment of the conception of rock and roll, Southall Riot have the cheek to ignore the 1998 user's manual, and aren't trying to win friends. In doing that they might just end up the soul of the party, with everyone bypassing the facelessness of the masked masqueraders to join in the carefree giggling and effortless cool of the two in the corner. That's where I'm heading anyway.

This is something to treasure. Clear the mantelpiece. The awards start here.

from Record Collector
Their name sounds like a Sham 69 song, but this duo have a melodic, jangly sound alternating with some nasty feedback-laden experimental noise. It can't decide what it wants to be and thus sadly fails at both. Warning!: "Model Theory" finishes with a burst of white noise that loops endlessly in the inner groove - so don't be like us and listen to it for 20 minutes expecting a finale.

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