Review Summary: Unique musical universe.
This is not a review per se, it’s more an exploration of my personal relationship with this album. So let me tell you a story about myself then.
I was lucky to grow up in a Punk environment. As a young near-homeless little high school dropout twat on the streets of Perth, there isn’t a whole lot you can do. So what I did is, thanks to my rather older appearance, I would land a gig in one of the countless local bars and music venues. They’d usually be organised in some abandoned factories, storages or someone’s apartment in urban areas. Nothing that’d last too long, but I knew some decent folks that knew I was a reliable worker, but more importantly I was a desperate one, so failing at a job of any kind was not an option for me. So I worked in these places. I’d do sound check, bars, sell merch, clean the places and build stages. Everything there is to do on these kinds of gigs. Nothing too posh, but I got to hang out with a lot of musicians, most of whom never made it pretty much anywhere. So there was a moral/social reward in it too, besides the dismal pay I got from the work.
In an environment like this you can only be an optimist, otherwise it’s a long dark slide into depression. I was an optimist like no other. I was a naturally enthusiastic little bastard in every single field you’d put me. I saw light in every dark corner. I didn’t look at my life as an endless circle of hopelessness and dread, I focused on the good side. It’s natural that music is the first and foremost master-helper in this kind of situation. Music turned my life around. Music made everything brighter. Music entangled me from all sides. I could always rely on it to make my day and it never let me down. The gigs I served, the music shops I also worked in, where I was allowed to play anything they had in store, and the surprisingly vast collection of Death and Black Metal cassettes my sister had (she never revealed to me how she got them in such a quantity, I suspect something rather fishy; seriously, it was like a 700 tapes), it all pretty much served as my first and foremost education.
But it was at the age of sixteen or seventeen, early 90s that is, that I first discovered my utmost love. Post-Punk. Of course, there was a kick towards it. A lost in life, teenage prick had to have a specific refuge in something. Music in general was good, but not good enough, although I was naturally optimistic. Post-Punk came into my life rather unexpectedly. A new package of records arrived into the store. My boss, Hank Norman, good lad, but a bit too sarcastic and rude, told me to go unpack it, as always and there it was: Red Lorry Yellow Lorry’s Talk About the Weather. It was a used copy, the album was about seven years old at that point already, so it wasn’t a brand new release, which meant I could play in in store. And I did. There was no reason why not, except that it was a newly arrived record I’ve never heard of and I didn’t want to sit in the store in silence. So I put it on.
The story after is now history. I fell in love with the album. Knowing it like the back of my hand today, I can’t say that it’s the best Post-Punk album out there, but up until that point I managed to not hear anything even remotely similar. It had all the resemblance of traditional Punk, but it wasn’t upfront, aggressive or shouty. It was… different. It was engulfing. It was magnificent.
I went on to explore everything there is in Post-Punk afterwards. The band went on to release two more utterly underwhelming albums after this. We went our ways. Post-Punk became pretty much my main musical focus in life. I had a couple of short-lived bands that each attempted at cracking the genre, but never did.
I doubt this’ll change your life. In fact, you might actually hate it. It’s very likely that you will, because it’s far from anyone’s first choice for Post-Punk essential. And considering how much this particular moody style got exploited before and after the record’s release, I won’t blame you to think it redundant. But it has a meaning to me. It has all the meaning in the world.
P.S.: My wife plays a role in here somewhere too, I just didn’t mention her. It was the first music I ever showed to her, though, so there’s that…