Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Comsat Angels - Unravelled (Dutch vers.) (1994, Crisis)

As some of you more astute W/O readers may have noticed, I've made several references to the Comsat Angels (aka C.S. Angels and Com-sat Angels) over the years on these pages but have failed to actually feature any of their music.  This is part and parcel due to their catalog having been kept in print in one incarnation or another, and in fact, their first five albums are set for expanded reissues (some for the umpteenth time I might add) this spring on Edsel.  Most CSA acolytes will extoll the virtues of their first three LPs the most: Waiting for a Miracle (1980), Sleep No More (1981), and Fiction (1982).  I'm no different, and quite frankly who can blame me?  That trifecta of melodic, textured and not infrequently melancholic albums possessed a slyly subterranean mystique that only post-punk rock from that era could seem to muster.  So much so I was afraid of listening/purchasing anything the Comsat's related after Fiction, based on the sheer number of negative reviews I read, which invariably faulted the band's embrace of a noticeably more commercial modus operendi. 

After 1986's Chasing Shadows, the band took the rest of the decade off, returning in 1992 with My Mind's Eye, and thankfully with much of their credibility restored.  The low-key Unravelled followed two years later.  Not a proper album in the least, Unravelled was a compilation of Mind's Eye-era radio sessions, marketed largely to Holland, where the Comsat's had a particularly strong foothold.   
Though not quite "unplugged," the versions of the songs presented are markedly more lucid and stripped down, with an unsurprising emphasis being placed on the recent Mind's Eye material.  While they're at it, the band stretch back to their halcyon days with early chestnuts like "After the Rain," "Our Secret," and their career defining "Eye of the Lens" all undergoing the refurbished treatment.  In case you wish to be further enlightened, mondo Comast's fan and Big Takeover editor Jack Rabid has the final say on this release over at Allmusic.  By the way, there are two different versions of Unravelled, this one being the Dutch edition.  I will hopefully have more C.S. Angels goodies to share in the not-too-distant future.

01. After the Rain
02. Beautiful Monsters
03. The Cutting Edge
04. Field of Tall Flowers
05. SS100X
06. Our Secret
07. Always Near
08. Eye of the Lens
09. Storm of Change
10. Audrey in Denim
11. Citadel


joseph kyle said...

That's really cool that Edsel is reissuing their work. It should be noted that aside from the initial releases of their material, almost all of those reissues have been unauthorized. Though a few of those reissues were excellently done, I avoided them simply because they were unauthorized. So it'll be great to get the real thing from a reputable label!

Peter Tron said...

damn spavid!

apart from chomping at the bit for the reissue news, i found myself belatedly scrolling down the page of that comsat angels 'references' url link.

unfortunately all those bands links that you mentioned having (in your own words) comsat's leanings are all dead.
i'd love to hear them at some stage!


spavid said...

I'm with you there Joseph, although believe it or not, I don't regret buying the unauthorized versions of the reissues, because as you admitted they were so well presented.

Will see about reviving some of those dead links Pete. Cheers.

Peter Tron said...

6 cs reissue/remastered dbl cd's for £60?
where do i sign?
i just wish i had found out nearer the time so i didn't have to wait ;)

cheers for looking into those dead links, spavid.
i'm keen to discover bands that might have cs influences.

Fabio D. said...

The Band! Just after The Sound of Adrian Borland , for me.