I’m going to be indulgent with this post. I’ve decided to have a little retrospective on the first two albums I bought with my own hard-earned cash. Next week I think I’ll talk about “Black Sands” by the Leicester-based Mage, that album’s a stormer. The next few months are looking pretty good, July should see Catastrophe Noise release what looks to be a stomper of an album, Internal Conflict should be ponying up the goods soon and there’s rumours that Zombina will have a new album later in the year. If that comes to pass, I will be a very happy potato indeed.
Anyway, onwards with the backwise!
So, when I was fifteen or so, I was living in the horrible “new town” of Telford. With shit all to do, I started to drift away from the Sega Mega-CD and more into music. What with Kerrrang! magazine and T-shirts a-plenty, it seemed to be a more interesting, and alive, world to dig around. Although Kerrrang was basically Smash Hits with tattoos (that’s exactly what it was, at that time the mags shared an editor) it was damn handy as it often had free sampler tapes stuck to the front. Yes. Tapes. Free CDs would be along in 18 months or so, spear-headed by Metal Hammer. A better mag, really, with noiser stuff on the free discs. But. Me digress. So, through reading the interviews, hearing the free tracks I was faced with two obvious truths. One, I needed to buy as much music as possible, and sadly this meant two, I had to get a goddam paper-round.
Let’s not get into the mire of the paper-round just yet, let’s have a musical interlude! The first album I bought with my pennies was Korn “Life Is Peachy”. This album seems to be much maligned and I don’t know why. Sure, it didn’t have the bag-peeps of the first album but it did have this. It also, to my mind, runs from start to finish in a more coherent way than the debut. I always liked the dark, sludgy feel the album has and drumming is awesome. I tended to listen to this album at the start and end of my round. Which, by the way, was around four damn miles long. And on those days when I got a puncture? Gah. Still, it was all for the music and my route also took me past the Big Breakfast house. Really. I guess the biggest track off this was probably A.D.I.D.A.S. but that was never really one of my favourites. I liked all the wierd little tracks, like Chi. This track is fucking cool, it demonstrates how inventive Korn really were. The creepy little guitar accents set up a nice crooked atmosphere and, I feel, truly show hip-hop and metal cross-pollinating as they sound like the keyboards you get on rap from this era, stuff like Cypress Hill, and The D.O.C. Last one from this album, Ass Itch. Stupid title, great chorus. All in all, it’s a shame they became a rock band, really. Oh well.
Right. The next one is a treat. Type O Negative “October Rust”. Ah, the glee on my stupid, pudgy face when I finally got my own copy of this! There was none of yer MP3.coms back then, sonny, you had ramble for your tunes and dig then out the dirt. Or, at least, out of the shelves of the local music shop, which had Telford’s finest (only) selection of metal and punk and the owner always had a pint on the go. Always. I remember the Headbanger’s Ball Type O special on MTV, they did Cinnamon Girl live, top stuff. I’m sure my teenage brain thought Type O were straight-up “proper” Goth, but listening to them now it’s like someone gave The Smiths a load of Bathory albums, sexual confidence and a slot on an underwater gig billing. And yes, the comparison can be drawn, as both bands have the same self-aware, sardonic wit. Pete Steele was never given enough credit for his sense of humour. I remember people laying into him for being sexist due to some of the lyrics of his previous band, Carnivore. Did you ever consider that he might be winding you up? Type O’s first album was called “Origin Of The Feces”, “October Rust” had a label saying “Product Of Vinnland”…it also produced this awesome single, with an awesome video…”My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend”…yes, the phrase “meat triangle” really is that amusing. I used to like sticking this on when it was snowing, cycling through the dark, thinking I really “knew” stuff that the “others” didn’t. Ha ha! What a little idiot. Anyway, listen to this and give thanks to Pete Steele, truly, he was a dude.
Right, that’s my little ramble done. I might have to revisit this era, there’s loads of stuff I didn’t get in, like Pist.On, NY Loose and the truly brilliant Kerbdog. Although, to be fair, Kerbdog will just get an entry all to themselves.