Mid-Year Post-Punk Rundown: Grave Pleasures, Algiers, Ought, Lunch + More


While summer is rarely a big season for new releases let alone post-punk, several albums snuck to the top of my playlists, with the warmer months bookended by Ceremony and Lunch in May, Algiers and PINS in June, and this past Friday, The Underground Youth, Gold Class and the highly anticipated Grave Pleasures (formerly Beastmilk), and Ought’s second album coming out in another week. Suddenly I’ve got a full batch, time for another post-punk rundown, a tradition I started almost exactly a year ago. For earlier 2015 releases, see my April rundown. Continue reading

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.”

The Greatest Post-Punk Bands You Never Heard

Post-Punk Mix: 54 songs, 453.5 MB, 4:23:59Interest in post-punk seems to ebb and flow in roughly decade-long cycles since its initial heyday of 1978-84. A fair number of bands emerged in 2001-04 that were influenced by the likes of Joy Division, The Chameleons and Comsat Angels, particularly Interpol and The Editors. In 2012 a new crop of young bands received attention including Merchandise, Deep Time, The Soft Moon, Wymond Miles and Grass Widow among others. Based just on an EP and a single, Pins and Savages both tied for third on the Blogs Sound Of 2013 shortlist. Old timers Killing Joke, Breathless, Viv Albertine, Kevin Hewick, The Monochrome Set, The Wake and The Distractions all released new albums last year, and Section 25 has one due February 26. Continue reading