The first full length album from ‘music scene’ casualty/veteran GEOFF WESTEN has seen him rework his undeniable pedigree to stunning effect with a surreal and significant collection that not only mirrors the Spector ‘Wall Of Sound’ but breaks luscious new ground beyond.
Former studio collaborator of such luminaries as Bowie, Dr John and Iggy Pop, this release is through Westen’s own Disturbing Music label.
The record dips and sways from the off.
Emulsified rock n’roll just grows and grows out of new wave beginnings as I surrender to the telly addict agoraphobic groove of ‘Better Get Started’. Ear-splitting and gaudy, yet all there in essence, the abrupt halt left me with a hole in the head
The tracks stretch way beyond the scope of the 3 minute pop hit yet drop frequent reminders of the Gallup compiled top 40 charts c.1981 from the safety of their progressive structures.
Thus ‘She’s So Young’ spews out anxiety and disbelief in the face of what could only be a crush(surely?), and ‘Together’ booms with sub-paranoia and waltzer-sized chunks of blurred déjà vu as it crumbles with the acid suck of the vortex. Repetitive beats? It’s all centred on the sub-vocal psychosis that gyrates deep near the periphery of this powerful life sentence.
The record breathes heavily and has a thumping heartbeat complete with analogue pulse, but the whistles echo ominously with only a split-second to spare before the breakbeat kicks against the bass Warped, submerged but assertive, ‘Some Of You Girls’ carves a wild and indelible pattern on your sanity, and emerges from its interlude halfway placing to stand out as the undoubted centrepiece of the record.
Cold-sweat waking nightmare Prozac concerns are sledged out on staccato synth sounds, and the bad-dream qualities hover like a candy floss cloud over the muffled subconscious and all of its ritualistic terror. Paranoia, anxiety, psychosis, in equal measures surrounds the whistle-stop subtlety of the sounds within.
Clap those hands to the quickening certainty of the firework disco light craziness of ‘Friend Or Lover’ as the brain misfires, all reason long since carried off into the distance by the frequency-defying sonic assault.
Shades of The Human League combine with a healthy fear of the fairer sex for spectacular results. If this is tongue-in-cheek, then the humour is bone-dry. These tunes are a hundred feet tall and they glow in the dark.