|Spies, The / Battle Of Bosworth Terrace, The|
|Album:||Battle Of Bosworth Terrace, The||Collection:||General|
|Artist:||Spies, The||Added:||Aug 2014|
|Add Date:||2014-09-26||Pull Date:||2014-11-28|
|Week Ending:||Nov 23||Oct 26||Oct 19|
|1.||Nov 18, 2014:||Eclectic Erudition Fall '14 Week 08 |
Keeper Of The Flame, Vintage Moth
|4.||Sep 01, 2014:||In The Year 1000, 8000 |
Collided And Collected
|2.||Oct 23, 2014:||Meow |
Collided And Collected
|5.||Aug 26, 2014:||Eclectic Erudition week 09 |
Collided And Collected
|3.||Oct 16, 2014:||Meow |
Egyptian Bird Song
For the most part, this true relic of a record is for the more adventurous DJs. Even if you don’t feel gusty enough for its rawness, you should at least read the story about the album from the liner notes on the vinyl version – really a must to preface the music. Basically, this album was recorded in around 1979 by this New Zealand underground band, The Spies, in a squalid flat (Bosworth Terrace) mostly on borrowed, second-hand, and stolen equipment, probably with the aid of recreational pharmaceuticals and miraculously survived after police raided the house (hence the title). The recording of this band’s music, which heretofore only existed for those who were there, didn’t see the light of day until now, 30 years later – it was released by underground label Siltbreeze. |
As far as the music goes, the majority of the tracks are very raw home recordings, and sound like it: with often indecipherable, highly distorted, sometimes yelled vocals. Kooky, varied, chaotic – sound quality and coherence not its strong suit, as you can imagine from the tale above. I guess I could describe it as pre-grunge, stringent, erratic, like the Doors’ ill-advised demo home recording while on a bad, incoherent trip. Guitars, organ, drums, even clarinet. Mostly male vox, some fem. Some of the more air-friendly tracks are 1, 2, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17-*21. FCC WARNINGS: 5, 10, 14, 16 - no other discernable FCCs, but it’s largely incoherent – I tried my best!
SIDE ONE (Vinyl)
1.*”Egyptian Bird Song” (1:49) Kooky organ with minimal guitar picking and gentle, fuzzy fem vox. Ends hymn-like on a major chord – don’t fade. One of the most air-playable tracks on the album.
2.*“Collided and Collected” (2:31) Faster song w/vox from the start, more punk feel – raw, straightforward. Interesting underlying organ/synth with Middle Eastern feel and a guitar solo. Fuzzy male vox. Kind of pre-grunge feel to it – ends on a yell.
3.“Wait Don’t Wait” (3:20) Definitely a home-recorded jam on this one. Erratic male vox, some spoken, some sung, some yelled, most indecipherable. Minimal instrumentation, not much of a melody. Ends with staticky guitar noise.
4.”Teenage Lightning” (2:59) Starts strong with somber, driving verse w/distorted male vox that breaks down into a strange, discordant jam of clarinet and guitar.
5.”Lose Dat Beat” (1:59) FCC WARNING (F*ck, F*cking) Bass line followed by low, fuzzy male vox – does follow a kind of melody. Very lazy, plodding song with an underlying riff that moves it forward.
6.“Star” (0:44) Again, very homemade sound – lots of random whistles, clicks and bangs, erratic male/fem vox. Short.
7.“No Mercy for a Cop” (1:42) Starts with more normal-ish guitar chords, then some weird percussion and the declaration: “This is a nice little safe song…” Then repetition of the title w/some scratchy strings, parodic voices. Not sure about FCC’s – they suddenly yell “They should all be **something yelled/muffled**” – so… Ends on beat cop parody.
8.“Nausea” (0:33) More melodic, playful, almost upbeat; fuzzy, high-pitched vox and drum/guitar interlude. Short.
9.“Lonely Lost Island” (2:19) Organ/bass, male vox and light percussion. Some guitar picking. Beat tries to pick up later on – very sudden transition to track 10
10. “All Full of Crap” (0:28) FCC WARNING – elitist “bullsh*t” Fast ditty about being “All full of crap,”
11. *“The King of China’s Daughter” (2:56) Slow-tempo, instrumental beginning with some guitar and organ, and a whole drum set – then male vox; one of the most melodic, coherent tracks. Guitar and organ solos. Something about silver panties? Vocals get very loud and distorted near the end.
SIDE TWO (Vinyl)
12. *“Vintage Moth” (2:39) Starts with some squealy sound distortion (DO NOT start too hot), then fem vox – made me think of Sonic Youth a bit. Noise, piano, changing voice levels – maybe some French at the beginning? Hard to tell. Little bit of a weird story in there, some clarinet, talking about singers and voice production. Probably the most interesting track to me.
13. *“Keeper of the Flame” (2:26) Start with bass and repetitive organ on two notes – then breaks into a kind of upbeat tune with male vox with a bit of fem vox background. Percussion from bongos? Pleasant little guitar-picked solo surprised me near the end.
14. “Skating” (2:04) FCC WARNING (Repeated “f*cking”) Pleasant, melodic organ and guitar with fem vox – but sadly unplayable.
*15. “A Half is Twice as Strong” (2:50) Somber start w/guitar and organ, transitions into more melodic moments – another pre-grunge track that evokes some of the more raw Nirvana moments for me.
16. “Father of Thousands” (1:42) FCC WARNING: (“Bullsh*t) Weird water gurgling and echoey spoken word (is that the toilet or a tub?). Then some distorted, squealy noise and siren.
17. *“Electro!” (2:36) Starts with noise-type percussion and erratic instrumentation, some playing with distortion and levels. As advertised. No vocals. Good if you’re doing a noise/experimental theme.
18. *“Surfin!” (1:33) Another exclamation! What I think is a parodic song about surf culture/music. Highly distorted, discordant, punky. Slight nod to surf guitar near the end. Very quick transition to next track.
19. “Laughing” (1:02) “Baby won’t you.. HA HA” As advertised. Bass and percussion heavy. Little guitar tune in there for good measure a ways in.
20. *“Keeper of the Flame (electric)” (2:47) Starts with siren sound over slow, low guitar chords – beat picks up with male vox, organ and percussion. Some fem vox later on. Reprises track 13.
21. *“The Star and Us” (2:33) Gentle, melodic, fem vox singing sweetly about stars and life. Uncharacteristically poppy, metaphoric and contemplative.