Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ten Bright Spikes - Astro Stukas (1992, New Red Archives)

Probably isn't a whole lot I can tell you about Ten Bright Spikes that isn't already covered in their bio on the New Red Archives site. I might make more sense to talk about the music on their makeshift album, Astro Stukas, but to do so accurately would require a song-by-song dissertation, so I don't thank that's going to work either.

To cut to the quick, TBS were instituted by two ex-hardcore guys - Jason Honea from the San Fran-based Social Unrest, and Nicky Garratt of the UK Subs. The often frenzied, fevered pitch of the aforementioned are largely, if not entirely eschewed on Stukas. I mentioned this was a "makeshift" album above given that about half of the songs are culled from a trio of 10" eps: Vertical Brando, The La Mancha Candidate, and Der Ferngesteuerteschlafanzug, (love that last one) with the rest exclusive to this CD. Though all nine tracks are disparate works unto themselves Astro Stukas flows near seamlessly, veering from the spicy distoro-crunch of "Your Breathing Doll," to the sprite, pop leanings of "Spleen", to the melancholic hue of the viola-enhanced "Ten Bright Spikes," and concluding with "Plumflower," a loose trifecta that hems together piano, bells and even more viola, trailing off into a quasi world-beat chant. You so need to check this out, and TBS' follow-up, Blueland.
 
01. Norse
02. Your Breathing Doll
03. Vertical Brando
04. Spleen
05. King of Sweden
06. Dog Star
07. Ten Bright Spikes
08. 000,000
09. Plumflower
a. Prayer For the Night
b. Ghostshirt
c. Waterghost
 
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