Lafcadio — Sham Duvet
(Joyful Noise JNR-10, 2006, CD)
Gogglesphere — Babies in Hell: A Depiction of Deranged Youth
(Joyful Noise JNR-4, 2004, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2006-05-01
One might ask why these two discs are being addressed in the same review; it’s because both Gogglesphere and Lafcadio are essentially the same band – or that is to say they have the same five members. Babies in Hell is subtitled A Depiction of Deranged Youth, a concept album of extremely twisted and grotesque imagery and a musical style to match: abrasive and extreme technical thrash-metal full of distortion at every level, with that singer who at one moment sounds like somebody’s trying to strangle him, and the next minute sounds like he’s screaming in pain with a bottle cap stuck up his ass sideways. Not an easy listen, any way you shred it. Fortunately a couple songs turn down the distortion some, slow down the pace, and stop screaming so the lyrics are somewhat understandable. But it’s not long until it slides right back into concussion-driven suicidal mania at the threshold of pain and beyond. Ahem. Some will really dig this, I’m sure.
Regrouped as Lafcadio, some elements of the old sound are still present here, but it does seem like a fresh start with a concerted effort to make a more meaningful and interesting musical statement within the boundaries of extreme technical metal. Some screaming, to be sure, but plenty of decent harmonies too, and more importantly one can actually hear what’s being played and sung without the ever-present cloud of distortion engulfing everything. Each piece is distinctly different in some way from all others, and the overall approach is a sort-of punk take on the more brutal elements of contemporary King Crimson mixed with a more adventurous variation of the math rock sound. Sham Duvet is the messianic lead figure in a concept exploring the contradictions and similarities between religious epiphany and schizophrenic hallucination; and this time the lyrics are understandable – but just in case they are all printed in the booklet. In all, this is a far more satisfying disc; here’s to the new start.
Related artist(s): Lafcadio / Gogglesphere
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more