Having finished university, i figured i'd take the opportunity to go
home for the first time in five or so months and relax before the
delights of Dollop and
Dot to Dot
Festival next weekend. It's also a good time to save a bit of
much needed cash.
Anyway, after my taxi didn't turn up
and i missed my train i was a little irritated and had an hour and a
half to kill before the next train. So, of to Selectadisc i traveled thinking this time i'd
explore my roots a little rather than head straight in and picking up
the new Chromeo 12" and such like. Sticking to the downstairs area i figured i'd look for one of Nottingham's finest (sadly now defunct) bands, Iron Monkey. Around at the turn of the millenia Nottingham's Iron Monkey are one of, if not the, finest sludge metal act to have graced the planet and are frequently referred
to as possibly the heaviest band EVER. Put simply, they sound like Like
Black Sabbath if they'd been a lot angrier and had spent the last
thirty odd years stewing in tar rather than acting as drug dustbins
with Motley Crue . Sadly, after only two albums they split, and though
the members went on to form more bands, none have reached the same
levels of influence as Iron Monkey, though the likes of Dukes of
Nothing (also now defunct)and Capricorns
(still going and great) are still verydsserving of your ears. Singer
Johnny Morrow, who went on to become a founding member of Murder One
died unexpectedly after their first gig in 2002. R.I.P. Johnny. Anyway,
after searching, i finally found a special edition copy of their second
album, "Our Problem" which come as a double package with their classic
first LP "Iron Monkey" and guess what, it's one of the best metal
records i've heard for a while and it's a good 6years old. It's bands like this that make me not want to leave Nottingham.
As a smapler, my favourite track:
Iron Monkey - House Anxiety
Before i'd picked out
Before finding that however, i'd been eyeing up a copy of, Godflesh legend, Justin K. Broadrick's new opus with his current incarnation, the formidable Jesu. Infamous for his mastery of crushing industrial (no, not in the Nine Inch Nails sense, acctually good and as heavy as the sound of grinding machinery) he has sinced moved into slightly more paletteable territory with Jesu. this is not to say he's lost any of his heaviness, don't get me wrong, listning to Jesu is still frequnetly the aural equivilent to having an elephant sit on your chest, but with it has come a lighter touch as well. Beautiful melodies soar across and above the industrial grind, creating some of the most moving music i have heard in a long time, music with genuine feeling to it. The new record, Conqueror, has taken Broadrick even further along this path. Full of melancholic beauty it is, at times, like the soundtrack to witnessing an angel full of despair, weeping on the ground. Still there also is the crushing intensity that binds it alll together and helps gaige the snse of despair. Yet, somehow, through all this he somehow manages to instill an incredible, uplifting feeling into the music, testament surely to Broadrick's incredible talent.
One of the lighter moments from the album, a quite stunning track,
Jesu - Mother Earth
Jesu - Conqueror
Perhaps a slightly odd change in direction, but i think we've covered a lot of electrro since our inception in late March/early April and i though it was time i showed another side of my musical character.
The Iron Monkey track, i have to admit, will most likely not appeal to many, though any fans of Sabbath may do well to investigate as the influence is quite audible.
Jesu, however, i think might be deeply enjoyable to the discerning music fan among you. Anyone who counts themselves as a fan of the "post-", shoegaze, experimental etc gernres may be highly intrigued by them. Think of bands such as Godspeed, Pelican, Isis, Battles, Cave In and most bands encroaching upon the heavier end of post-rock and any industrial band since Godflesh were formed, as they will all have been influenced to some degree by Justin K. Broadrick.