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Issue 93 Record Reviews
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Issue 138 Streams N Demos (Narrow Waves)

AMEBIX - “No Sanctuary: The Spiderleg Rrecordings” LP

      I’ve been listening to this a few times but never could give the attention it needed until now  (you can only listen so much in a car).  This record compiles the band’s early 80s EPs from the Spiderleg label after decades out of print (and many years of being bootlegged).  Musically, this is raw, aggressive artsy punk rock that take loud fast songs and offer a slightly hypnotic, even tribal leaning bent at times (a comparison could even be made to the death rock movement of that era) on songs about control, abuse of power, religion, addiction, and other forces that try to control our lives.  While slightly different from their seminal later work, there is a raw energy here that shows hints of what Amebix will accomplish with a darkness and uncertainty that reflects the band’s circumstances as much as the temper of the times the music came from (the rough times Britain faced in the early 80s is fairly common knowledge).  This is not music for those who want a form of aural wallpaper (though it can be used as such, I guess) but demands really listening to get what the band hopes to accomplish.  This is a must have album for those into HC’s more adventurous side as well as people who want intelligence infused into passionate and energetic music.  Great to see these songs back in print.  (BOONE)

(Alternative Tentacles Records. P.O. Box 4190923. San Francisco, CA 94141-9092 alternativetentacles.com)

All content this year c 2009- Boone Stigall/The Trouble With Normal