Exposé Online banner

Thinking Plague — Early Plague Years
(Cuneiform Rune 141, 1986/2000, CD)

by Steve Robey, Published 2001-03-01

Early Plague Years Cover art

The recent resurgence of Thinking Plague has finally yielded the reissue of their (rare) first two albums (both included on this one CD in their entirety), showcasing the beginnings of one of the more adventurous bands of our era. ...A Thinking Plague and Moonsongs show that Plague’s creative energies and talents were already highly developed, even at this early stage, and with a minimal recording budget, no less. Bassist / drummer / violinist Bob Drake plays a greater role here than on later releases, and his “compositions” make interesting use of drones and sound effects. Guitarist Mike Johnson still handles the bulk of the writing, and his style at this point includes somewhat aggressive tempos (such as “I Do Not Live” from the first album, and “Warheads” from the second) as well as the majestic epics that we’ve come to expect (“Moonsongs”, “The War”). ...A Thinking Plague features vocalist Sharon Bradford, who left shortly after, and who receives a pair of writing credits. Suzanne Lewis sings on Moonsongs, the title track of which is one of her finest recorded moments. Prior to this reissue, I had both of these albums on cassette, and I can vouch for the fact that the remastering that went into this issue have added great depth and dynamics to the sound. While not quite on the level of In This Life or In Extremis (which is a hard order to fill at any rate), these first two albums are a great bargain as a two-fer, and well worth the attention of those interested in more Plague.


Filed under: Archives, Issue 21, 2000 releases, 1986 recordings

Related artist(s): Thinking Plague, Bob Drake

Latest news

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Meat Beat Manifesto - At the Center – Meat Beat Manifesto is in actuality the brainchild of audio menace Jack Dangers. Previous recordings by the artist ranged from sonic deconstruction and techno experiments that highlighted rave...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues