Thursday, December 11, 2008

Beatnik Filmstars - Laid Back & English (1994, La Di Da)

It wasn't all Britpop and shoegaze that emanated across the pond during the '90s. The UK's Beatnik Filmstars were something of an anomaly, releasing a Pollard-like avalanche of albums and singles during their tenure. Laid Back & English was their first length, and is representative of the utmost caliber they had to offer. Absorbing an unmistakable cue from slackers extraordinaire, Pavement, the Bristol-based quintet veered between relatively quiet, lo-fi toss-offs and startling, static-laden fretboard outbursts, without offering a moments notice as to which direction their uncanny dynamics were about to go. Everyone from the Wedding Present to the Pixies to Swervedriver and early Boo Radleys seemed to have rubbed off on them in various amounts as well I might add.

The Filmstars didn't operate exclusively on either end of these extremes, and as such, the selections on Laid Back that strike a happy medium (deliberately or not) are the most appealing, particularly the irresistible distorto-pop of "Tearing Apart My World," and "Clean."

The band would later release two albums for Merge Records, 1997's In Hospitalable and Boss Disque in 1998. 
01. Ciao America No. 2
02. You Can't Fake Sadness Like This
03. Clean
04. Kick in the Head
05. Sick
06. Tearing Apart My World
07. Haircut
08. Skill
09. Revolt Into Style
10. Follow Cats
11. Missed
12. Ambulance
13. Swillyagro
14. Orange
15. Band A
16. Diseaser 399 

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