TRESHOLD HOUSE RELEASE:
SEPTEMBER, 2004 (SECOND PRESSING)
REVIEW: OCTOBER 8, 2004
Coil are a band whose music could
be called so many things that I won't
even attempt to numb Release readers
with categorizations. Suffice to say
that the term "experimental"
will have to do. Formed in 1982 by
a very young John (or Jhonn as he
prefers to call himself these days)
Balance, Coil's output has been somewhat
sporadic but most assuredly worth
the trouble (and expense) it requires
to collect. In 1983, Balance was joined
by Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson
(former founding member of Throbbing
Gristle) thus solidifying the line-up.
Both did a short stint in Psychic
TV but jumped ship when they found
it less than artistically satisfying.
They have been on nearly every record
label imaginable but it is their work
for WaxTrax! which remains their best
known, at least here in the US. Their
members have included Stephen Thrower
(Possession, Cyclobe), Danny Hyde,
Drew McDowall and William Breeze.
For this EP they "were"
Balance, Christopherson, Tom Edwards,
Cliff Stapleton, Thighpaulsandra (Julian
Cope, Spiritualized) and Mike York.
Over the years of ensuing chaos, Coil
have followed an unorthodox path of
enlightenment and barbarity; the beautiful
and the bestial, the vision and the
void. This CD-R was originally released
for their recent tour and was, amazingly
enough, repressed to be sold in very
limited quantities. A digital download
of this work is now available at their
record label's site. Most band's albums
are as long as this new work but not
nearly as interesting or incisive.
After a long period of pursuing what
they termed "moon musick",
Coil return to terra firma with "Black
Antlers". "The Gimp"
pulls the curtain back to reveal a
strange, foreboding landscape which
one just cannot pull away from. A
somewhat amusing version of "All
the Pretty Little Horses" makes
an appearance. After that, all bets
are off with the savagely enthralling
"Wraiths and Strays". Some
would call it trip-hop influenced,
I call it deliciously off-kilter and
disturbing. That this is a live track
really impresses me.
Oddly enough, a work from their Trax!
days smuggles itself on board as the
10th anniversary version of "Teenage
Lightning" even though it has
been longer than ten years since "Love's
Secret Domain" came out. Version
1 of "Black Antlers" serves
as the final aural offering; it has
been mentioned by the band that they
have been mailing out promos of this
track to select DJ:s. If I ever found
a club with the guts to play this
song, I'd live there. It is not danceable
in any traditional meaning of the
word but instead challenges the listener
to step outside their preconceptions.
A rare treat. There is a sinister
rhythmic agenda being peddled here.