Rip Rig and Panic
God


4.5
superb

Review

by butcherboy CONTRIBUTOR (78 Reviews)
September 19th, 2017 | 41 replies


Release Date: 1981 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I ain't talking about heaven and hell..

’80-’85 Part VI

Started by several personages of 80’s avant-funk vanguards The Pop Group and The Slits, and a young then-unknown Swedish transplant named Neneh Cherry, Rip Rig + Panic burst forth onto Bristol’s underground scene in 1980, a being hewn from little else except arrant ruination and an unflinching desire to subvert model and execution. God, their debut, would become an archetypal record of unhinged experimentation. Full of odd patterns and unequaled style, it aligned itself perfectly with the rapidly escalating free-from movement that was brewing in the deep, cobwebbed corners of Western metropolitan undergrounds.

The Pop Group had always been an act keen to explore and slice up the sociopolitical facets of life. That, coupled with God's four-act, verbose track-list created an early impression of an album that had its feet firmly planted in a pointed concept. But whatever conceptual aspirations lie behind God, they are all but snuffed out by the record’s schizoid constitution. This was a running push-and-pull moment with no-wave and similarly abstracted music forms that came to germinate in the early 80’s - theory and message taking a backseat to aesthetic form. It’s music that drifts in a state of chronic mayhem, its wrecked presentation a dazzling end in itself.

Mark Springer’s masterly exercises in cockeyed piano is the ace up God’s sleeve. He gives “Knee Deep in Shit” such an askew swing, that amped by the clattering percussion and Gareth Sager’s gruff-throated rants, the song exists in a condensed space of utter breakdown. He lays down the bedrock of God, as virtuosic as he is radically-inclined. Sager is the principal architect of Rip Rig + Panic for all intents and purposes, but his role as leader is as fluid as any other angle of the album, and God is a result of fusion, a collective of young visionaries coalescing in their want of something entirely not of the mainstream.

Neneh Cherry’s marque of roughhewn soul, soon to become a permanent fixture in both Bristol’s and New York’s avant-garde scenes, gets its proper debut here. She had played around with Ari Up in a few previous acts, like the speedy punk of The Cherries and the dub convulsions of New Age Steppers. But the three songs she fronts here were the first show of her radiant capacities. Full-bodied and much less ragged vocally than Segar and Up, she confidently stirs opener “Constant Drudgery is Harmful to SOUL, SPIRIT & HEALTH” in its punch-drunk swagger, lending a compact foundation to a song that otherwise seems intent on cracking itself at the seams. Her haunted shrieks trade places with funky half-spoken crooning on “Need (De-School You),” and on the jazzy corrosion of “Eskimo Women,” she shows what Billie Holiday would have sounded like put through a meat-mincer.

For all that swirling chaos, God feels exactly as it should – a product of immaculate choreography, improvisation that still tips its hat to a meticulously planned whole. Nothing here feels slapdash or sloppy in the prosaic sense. Ari Up’s pitched vocals are barely distinguishable through the rave piano variations that thrust “Change Your Life” forward, but burst forth on the dense disco of “Shadows There Because of the Sun.” All experimentation and aversion to conventional song structures gets dialed back for the gorgeously unsettled instrumental “The Blue Blue Third,” the band letting Springer create a moment of ordinary beauty. All of it feels as premeditated as any other quotidian album would. It’s disorder and anarchy, sure, but one that contains enough self-awareness to betray what it truly is – an ideological stance, an up-turning of the nose at the commonplace drudgery that had swept over the artistic niche and its corporative creeds, a call to crash out of the haven of boredom and into a whole new brand of creativity. And for the briefest instant, it looked like it was going to work.



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user ratings (18)
Chart.
4.3
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
September 19th 2017


5306 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Johnny's pick for the series..

Digging: Scratch Acid - The Greatest Gift

UniqueUniverse
September 19th 2017


6806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

And to think how hard Johnny tried to make as many people as possible to listen to this...

Digging: Benjamin Clementine - I Tell A Fly

SandwichBubble
September 19th 2017


4543 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

O SHIT



/side/: I tried adding their second album to the database and it made an entirely new band page

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands/Rip-Rig---Panic/94284/ | kill me

Digging: Anne-James Chaton / Thurston Moore / Andy Moor - Heretics

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
September 19th 2017


5306 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

haha, i can't imagine that + sign is good for Sput's wonky coding..

SandwichBubble
September 19th 2017


4543 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

That's what I get for trying to help. stay selfish, everyone

SandwichBubble
September 19th 2017


4543 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

by the way, time to bump this thread forever

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
September 19th 2017


5306 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

oooh yea!!!!

UniqueUniverse
September 19th 2017


6806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Suburban Lawns review when?

SandwichBubble
September 19th 2017


4543 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This deserves a 5.0



@UniqueUniverse wait, who's reviewing Suburban Lawns??

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
September 19th 2017


5306 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Suburban Lawns will be around review 8 of the series.. need to get through a few other picks first..



Sandiwch, i put up this list during your irma absence



http://www.sputnikmusic.com/list.php?memberid=1096614&listid=177098

SandwichBubble
September 19th 2017


4543 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

:O



Oooooh, that makes sense. Looking forward to that one!

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2017


6283 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"and to think how hard Johnny tried to make as many people as possible to listen to this..." o...k? p sure i didn't bring it up in any thread ever until butcher's list.



anyway cool review (didn't read it) but will read (maybe) lat(er)

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
September 19th 2017


5306 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

will be waiting (not) and expecting my due (sic) praises..

UniqueUniverse
September 19th 2017


6806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

JOTS: Oh, so it wasn't you? I could swear I've seen in in at least 5 threads. Given its low amount of ratings I assumed all of those recs come from an obsessed individual.

SandwichBubble
September 19th 2017


4543 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

www.sputnikmusic.com, you should listen to this album

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
September 19th 2017


15695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'll give this a try just cos I like the sleeve

Digging: Destroyer - Ken

SandwichBubble
September 19th 2017


4543 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@DoofusWainwright Nice. Hope you dig it



www.sputnikmusic.com, you should listen to this album [2]

SandwichBubble
September 19th 2017


4543 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Gonna get this review to 20 replies without any of your help

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
September 19th 2017


5306 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

or will you?

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
September 19th 2017


5306 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

huh?



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