This is a compilation of two full lengths and an assortment of demos from this late ‘80s British punk/post-punk band I had never heard of until now. The LPs presented here, 1987’s Cornucopia and 1988’s Cut It Off, present a band going full-on deathrock. It’s like a British Dance with Me-era T.S.O.L., cross pollinated with a bit of early Christian Death, a bit of d-beat, and Dave Vanian at his most melodramatic and gothic. Seriously, if I ever heard the opening track from Cornucopia, “Morgan Le Fey,” somewhere, I would assume it was from one of those middle period Damned albums. While taken in one sitting—especially with the bonus tracks included with this, the albums can be a bit on the long side—they are both incredibly solid albums. Both albums do break up the more straightforward, echoey, bass and drum-heavy goth punk tracks with songs such as the ethereal interlude of “Blind Fate” on the first album and the oddly folky opening track “Cut It Off (Pt. 1)” from the second album. There was even a flute somewhere on that second disc. Lyrically, this makes me think of the early Rudimentary Peni EPs with their shift between political concerns and more personal or esoteric concerns, such as love and death and puppy killers. The demos on the first disc are your standard rougher versions of the stuff on the LP. The BadBeach Trio—Sonic Sunset demo from the second disc is a bit different because it’s from 1995, a full seven years after the second LP, and consists of songs featuring a heavy female vocal presence. All in all, this is a very solid re-release of some excellent tunes I had never heard of before, and I’m sure anybody into all those punk/post/dark/goth wave DJ nights which apparently happen like ten times a night, at least here in L.A., will find this worth well tracking down.
–Adrian Salas (Boss Tuneage, bosstuneage.com)