Ben Hardwidge – The Rhyme of the Flying Bomb

Ben Hardwidge
The Rhyme of the Flying Bomb
1994 Bloated Rhino Records
Tring, England, United Kingdom

All music written, arranged, played, produced, engineered, mixed, and raked by Ben Hardwidge
Words by Mervyn Peake

Tom Carding – Narrative voice-over
Jill Kettle – Child on part 2
Ian Arkley – Sailor

  1. Rhyme of the Flying Bomb part 1 (15:04)
  2. Rhyme of the Flying Bomb part 2 (18:15)

Ben Hardwidge might be better known as the main person behind Metropolis. Well, there were several bands named Metropolis – this is the industrial prog rock one from England. Metal fans will notice that Ian Arkley of Seventh Angel / My Silent Wake fame plays one of the vocals parts on this album (or actually, I believe he growls the parts of the sailor with some death metal vocals). Don’t think of this music as an industrial version of Rush. The “prog” part means there are complex structures to the music with atypical vocals parts over music that is part instruments and part computer. The sound is kind of hard to describe – it’s like a metal industrial rock opera with spoken words instead of singing in many places. But the music is still some cool driving rock music – experimental in most places, but still with recognizable riffs and sounds you can rock out to. After this, Hardwidge gave his project the name of Metropolis, and put out a self-titled full length in 1996 and a cassette ep called Only Yours in 1999. I have never heard Only Yours, but the Metropolis S/T does continue with the sound started here.

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Opinion 8 – Don’t Quit Yer Day Job

Opinion 8
Don’t Quit Yer Day Job
1994 Camouflage Records

Joe Wallace – vocals and instrument manipulation

  1. Psychadelic Beige Orangutangs
  2. The Oppressed
  3. For Art’s Sake
  4. Jack the Happy Suicide
  5. Test Patterns
  6. New World
  7. Decline
  8. Ostrich Behavior
  9. Won’t Be You Today
  10. Ends Abruptly & Too Soon

This tape is a bit different, even from those that are a bit different. The credits thank IDY and other experimental bands, and there is a noticeable influence of these bands on the music. But there is also a strong sense of song structure that is alternative rock in nature. It comes across as a more experimental Crazed Bunnyz or a more alternative rock leaning IDY. It looks like Wallace is responsible for the played and electronic instruments. I kind of dig it, and it sounds pretty original to me – but maybe I don’t know the experimental underground as well. Are you wondering about the title of the last song? It pretty much describes what actually happens to the song.

Centre of Gravity

Centre of Gravity
1985 Stride
Cheshire, England, United Kingdom

Side 1:

  1. Pacific 231 – Psycho Moon
  2. Pacific 231 – Gare De L’est 1943
  3. The Dangerous Bros – On 45
  4. Vox Populi – Pygmies in the Park
  5. Vox Populi – Mind
  6. Vox Populi – Glassy Stare
  7. Face in the Crowd – Clown
  8. Face in the Crowd – Love is Like a Cancer

Side 2:

  1. Griff – Wrant – U – Wrant
  2. Griff – Poser
  3. Griff – Match’s Mate
  4. Celestial Orgy – Pig to the Abbatoir
  5. Celestial Orgy – Feminist
  6. Celestial Orgy – Maths
  7. Inlaws and Outlaws – Foot Inside Your Door
  8. Face in the Crowd – Summer Fool
  9. Face in the Crowd – A Strong Voice
  10. Face in the Crowd – Justice

This is a mysterious compilation from Stride that serves up several songs from mostly noise/industrial/experimental bands – with a few exceptions. So who is on it? First off is Pacific 231, a noise/experimental project by Pierre Jolivet of Paris that has been going since the early 80s. If the band name sounds kind of familiar to you, Pacific 231 has been on some split albums with Psyclones, also an early noise/industrial band that was composed of Brian Ladd (aka Blackhouse) and Julie Frith. I can’t find these songs listed on any Pacific 231 releases, so they might be exclusive to this comp? I can’t find any information on The Dangerous Bros, but they appear to be an experimental free-form band with guitars. Vox Populi has also collaborated with Pacific 231, but is a band from France that has been around since the early 80s. They have an experimental noise sound as well, with some vocals and instruments. Face in the Crowd has released many tapes in the Christian tape underground, usually of a more experimental band sound, with some spoken word parts, some sung parts, random instrument playing, etc. Griff has also been featured here before, but he is experimental folk rock with an extreme British sense of humor. Don’t know much about Celestial Orgy, but it seems they only have compilation appearances listed on Discogs. They appear to be the closest thing to a rock band on here – definitely some alternative guitar and drums, but still more experimental than most alt rock. When they hit the high pitched vocals, it almost reminds me of Danielson. Inlaws and Outlaws is another band I can’t find much on, but they also are the most traditional industrial/electronic band on the compilation (although many others use industrial elements).

Ted Goodwin – Intuitively Obvious

Ted Goodwin
Intuitively Obvious
1991 (no label)
Orlando, Florida, USA

Ted Goodwin – Synthesizer, drum machine, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, miscellaneous voicings, various mangling and manipulations of tape, assorted heavy machinery

Side 1:

  1. The Age of Reason (Part 1)
  2. Intuitively Obvious
  3. Destructive Tendencies
  4. Heart Over Mind
  5. Almost Clear
  6. Just the Facts, Ma’am
  7. Believing
  8. I am Joe’s Brain

Side 2:

  1. Multiple Choice (Option A)
  2. Multiple Choice (Option B)
  3. Artificial Intelligence
  4. Imprisoned Spirit
  5. Return to Reality
  6. Unspoken Words
  7. It’s All There for You
  8. Hidden Truth (IAJB Reprise)
  9. The Grand Assumption
  10. The Age of Reason (Part 2)

If you can’t tell by the cover, this album is a little bit different. Technically, it is almost all instrumental electronic music, but more new wave/alternative in nature. “It’s All There for You” has vocals. Buried in the middle of side 2. I hate to say Tangerine Dream as a comparison, because that still covers a lot of ground. Anyways, if you can imagine a new wave electronic band existing in the 1990s that did instrumentals, you would have the sound here. However, song lengths are all over the place – from 59 seconds to over 11 minutes. So at times there is a prog-ish long song “repetitive-but-then-suddenly-change” feeling to some songs.

Grease Pot – “The Beach” Cassette Maxi-Single

Grease Pot
“The Beach” Cassette Maxi-Single
1992 (no label)
Massillon, Ohio, USA

Spiney Cottage Cheese Butt Hair Lips
IDY

Side 1:

  1. The Beach (v1)
  2. The Beach (v2)
  3. The Beach (v3)
  4. The Beach (v4)
  5. The Beach (v5)

Side 2:

  1. ?
  2. (instrumental)
  3. Vinyl Dreams of a Leather Sofa / America / Snack Machine / (untitled)
  4. Let Me Speak
  5. (instrumental)
  6. America / (untitled) / America the Pitiful

This is one trippy 10 song “maxi-single.” Well, kind of ten songs. The five songs on side one are 5 different versions of a song called “The Beach.” Mainly they are messing around with the vocals and solo instruments on each “song.” Side 2 is also five songs (three without names) that are even more experimental. The liner notes imply this tape was improvised, and you can tell. Kind of alternative-leaning  experimental. This is the kind of music that would fit in with The Furnace Room, Plan 7 Dist., and Corpquii Music. In fact, IDY has also released some solo albums on The Furnace Room. Oh, and there is language on this one for those that have problems with that.

This Suffering – This Suffering

This Suffering
This Suffering
1996 Dead Records
Port Angeles, Washington, USA

Jeff Suffering

Side 1:

  1. Dreams I See More Clearly
  2. Blackened

Side 2:

  1. Shattered Images
  2. Crevace

So this is apparently a Gothic / Experimental side project from Jeff (Bettger) Suffering of 90lb Wuss / Suffering & The Hideous Thieves fame. I don’t know who all performed on this as there some female vocals, so it could also be Suffering mostly on his own or not. The song “Blackened” made it on to the Boot to Head Records Sampler #1 in 1996. It doesn’t seem like any of these songs made it on to future Suffering-related projects, but I could have missed one somewhere.

Prazzer – Dominate Me

Prazzer
Dominate Me
198? Pekuliar Muzzik Rekords
Biloxi, Mississippi, USA

Mike Liffick – Vocals
Punq Hedgez – Guitars, bass, keyboards
Jason Lykins – Drums

  1. Ascension
  2. Justabitanoize
  3. Cylents
  4. No Lone Wolves
  5. Dominate Me
  6. R-U Battle Ready
  7. World of Confusion
  8. Sin is Destruction
  9. Marchinthroo
  10. He Walks Upon the Water

So based on the name, they sound like hair metal. The cover looks more like a noise band. But the pictures of the three guys shows them with choir robes on, looking like a metal band. So what are they? All of the above….? The first song in a keyboard instrumental, followed by a guitar solo song, followed by a found noise track that transitions directly into a found noise track with wolves howling. Then… a metal track? Well, it sounds more like gothic metal, but it is actually a full band rocking out with vocals. Then another found noise song, followed by another full band rocking song, but without vocals. That is followed up by a spoken word with noise background, a track that is basically a drum solo, and one final keyboard tracks. Every song is short – they whole thing clocks in at less than 19 minutes. It is difference, but the two gothic metal tracks make it worth the weird ride.