Saturday, 23 January 2021

The Go-Betweens ‎– Send Me A Lullaby (Expanded Edition) (1982)

Style: Indie Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Red Eye Records, Polydor, Rough Trade, EMI

1-01.   Your Turn, My Turn
1-02.   One Thing Can Hold Us
1-03.   People Know
1-04.   The Girls Have Moved
1-05.   Midnight To Neon
1-06.   Eight Pictures
1-07.   Careless
1-08.   All About Strength
1-09.   Ride
1-10.   Hold Your Horses
1-11.   Arrow In A Bowr
1-12.   It Could Be Anyone
2-01.   Sunday Night
2-02.   One Word
2-03.   I Need Two Heads
2-04.   The Clowns Are In Town
2-05.   Serenade Sound
2-06.   Hope
2-07.   Stop Before You Say It
2-08.   World Weary
2-09.   Distant Hands
2-10.   Undo What You Did
2-11.   Cracked Wheat
2-12.   After The Fireworks

Bass, Vocals – Grant McLennan
Drums – Lindy Morrison
Lead Guitar – Grant McLennan
Rhythm Guitar, Vocals – Robert Forster
Saxophone – James Freud
Producer – The Go-Betweens, Tony Cohen

The first official album from the Go-Betweens, after a slew of earlier recordings and initial singles, was described by Forster and McLennan in later years as sounding like a practice room session, "metallic folk in a way." It's a fair assessment, and certainly while it's the work of a young band, Send Me a Lullaby is still a promising start, showing that the original trio had an aesthetic and the talent to carry its work over an album's length. Another McLennan comment, that it's the 1981 version of the Pixies, is partially accurate -- there's no walls of feedback or screaming, but the songs are short, brisk, angular. The not-so-secret weapon, as one can imagine, is the singing of Forster and McLennan, investing even the sharpest songs and most cutting rhythms (check out the relentless rhythms of the art-funk "The Girls Have Moved") with a sometimes desperate and sometimes withdrawn emotion. At points the vocals are forced, as can also be heard on Very Quick on the Eye, but both are starting to audibly try out other approaches. As musicians, the three definitely had something of that 'metallic folk' thing about them, with Morrison's drumming adding a sometimes brusque but (except for part of "Eight Pictures") never brutal touch to the proceedings that holds up quite well. Forster's guitar work and McLennan's bass are both interesting to hear in context given how much of an influence they would exert in later years. Rather than sounding like they're trying to recodify rock and roll or the like, it's a series of often gentle explorations in restraint, saying more with less. There are definitely more thrashy numbers that live might well have completely rocked out -- "People Know," with its squirrelly guest saxophone from James Freud, is the most likely candidate of all.
Ned Raggett / AllMusic

Eden Ahbez ‎– Eden's Island (The Music Of An Enchanted Isle) (1960)

Style: Spoken Word, Easy Listening
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Del-Fi Records, Righteous, Captain High Records

A1.   Eden's Island
A2.   The Wanderer
A3.   Myna Bird
A4.   Eden's Cove
A5.   Tradewind
A6.   Full Moon
B1.   Mongoose
B2.   Market Place
B3.   Banana Boy
B4.   The Old Boat
B5.   Island Girl
B6.   La Mar

Composed By, Lyrics By – Eden Ahbez

Musically, Ahbez' 1960 outing was squarely in line with the exotica fad, utilizing then-unusual combinations of instruments (flutes, bongos, vibes) and sound effects like creaking boats to conjure up the aural equivalent of a tropical breeze. Unlike Martin Denny or Arthur Lyman, Ahbez often added his own spoken poetry, speaking of coves, paradise, and other idyllic subjects. Occasionally he even sang in a thin voice (he's no Nat King Cole). Even those who share Ahbez' yearning for heaven on earth must concede that his recorded effort to invoke these states is, to put it bluntly, sophomoric. Yes, it's good for some snickers from the exotica revival crowd, but that's almost definitely not what he had in mind when he was making this.
Richie Unterberger / AllMusic