The follow-up to Shriekback's last album, 'Sacred City', has had what could probably be described as an awkward gestation period. Initially recorded in 1995, and played live at a number of gigs around the same time, the album was then put on hold for a while as the band members were working on other projects.
In 1998 the band began serious attempts to find a suitable record label, but Martyn Barker and Lu Edmonds subsequently decided to remix some of the songs before finally agreeing a record deal in mid-1999.
The album is released by Mushroom in Australia and New Zealand, with a distribution deal arranged for an independant release on Mauve Records in the UK. It was released on 28th February 2000.
At the moment there are no distribution deals outside these countries, however you can now order the new album from HMV. (Note: at the time of writing this link does not appear to work - I'm trying to resolve this, but in the meantime try one of the other online record stores).
The song Berlin has been remixed by Transglobal Underground and also by a new band Martyn has been involved in called Ausgang. Hopefully these remixes will be released in the clubs at some point in the future.
The long awaited eighth album from '80s warped dance pioneers.
Formed by refugees from XTC and Gang Of Four, Shriekback opened the
1980s creating some of the dirtiest, most surreal and sinister dance
grooves ever. After almost a decade in the wilderness, they've returned
with an album which is, almost inevitably, more sophisticated and
world-music oriented, but still retains the cavalier spirit of adventure
and experiment that made past glories such as My Spine Is The Bassline so
essential. As before, the songs lie somewhere between chants and tunes,
and the combination of hypnotic beats with chest-thwacking bass lines is
pretty much intact. Best experienced whilst watching Altered States with
the television's sound turned down. ****
Johnny Black, Q magazine No.165, June 2000
Shriekback - another outlet for Lu Edmonds and his cumbus and saz
collection - are all jagged, choppy, angular, big beaty, snarly, quite
a wall of sound on tracks like Invisible Rays but attractive
in their own different way. Other members include Simon Edwards on bass
(Fairground Attraction, Billy Bragg's Blokes), percussion, mandolin &
didg from Mark Raudva, Martyn Barker on drums and lead vocal/accordion
from Barry Andrews, who sometimes vocally reminds one of The The or Frankie
Goes To Hollywood, which is weird but quite acceptable over chugging
Turkish stringed things, squeezeboxes and ethno-percussion. Shriekback
have been through lots of permutations and musical directions and this
album's been a while coming, having originally been recorded in the mid
'90s after they'd embarked on what the press release calls their
"scrawny semi-acoustic phase shamelessly plundering musical
traditions from the world and twisting them to fit their own agenda."
I saw 'em do it live in Berlin circa '94 and they were sensational. Better
late than never the CD is well worth investigation for all you readers
who like to hear something original from the roots. I'd call it progressive,
but that term got hi-jacked and tainted by something bloated and awful a
long time ago. This ain't that.
Ian Anderson, Folk Roots (fROOTS) magazine No.204, June 2000.
© P Hetherington 1998-2005.
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