Crispy Ambulance – The Plateau Phase Released 30 Years Ago

Crispy Ambulance - The Plateau Phase (Factory Benelux, 1982)A year ago today Factory Benelux Records released The Plateau Phase, the debut album by post-punkers Crispy Ambulance. Dave McCullough of Soundsgave it a five-star review. “It conjured up, after the second listen, big thoughts like, this is how the Doors would sound if they were around in ’82… (they) straddle humour and huge creative strength. Little wonder then that their music is so utterly dissociated, so cut off from the stream of life. It sounds disembodied… Crispys are like an aborted Ruts. They have more good rock riffs than the Rolling Stones. The whole point  is they refuse, at arms length at any rate, to use them.” Hilarious! Crispy Ambulance were recently included in my piece, The Greatest Post-Punk Bands You Never Heard:

Despite early associations with Factory Records and Joy Division (vocalist Alan Hempsall once substituted for Ian Curtis at a gig and Martin Hannett produced an EP), they don’t have any hooks to hang your hat on, instead focusing on prog and kosmische influenced soundscapes and guitar textures, and some of the bass ‘n’ treble sounds of Public Image Ltd. Their debut full-length The Plateau Phase (LTM, 1982) may require some patience to navigate the murky atmospheres, but is rewarding for any fans of dark wave and post-Siouxsie goth. It’s been reissued on CD twice, the latest in 1999, featuring the single “Sexus” and the aforementioned Hannett produced songs from 1981, the amazing 13:03 long “The Presence” and “Concorde Square.”

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