Shriekback

Big Night Music

I finally got my grubby hands once again on one of my favorite albums, Shriekback‘s ‘Big Night Music.’ Hailing from London, Shriekback was made up of Barry Andrews (vocals, keyboards), Dave Allen (bass), and Carl Marsh (vocals/guitar). Andrews was once in XTC, and Allen came from Gang of Four (who incidentally are reunited and on tour). ‘Big Night Music’ was their fourth album, and is pretty much defined by its title. Each song that weaves into the total package sounds and feels like night.

From the liner notes:

Big Night Music – songs to sing in your sleep. Shriekback celebrate the blessed dark – the place where they were always most at home… Big Night Music is the shape and rhythm of two different kinds of nights – nights of heat and weirdness in which we alone are awake, humming with forbidden energy; nights into which we would not send our dogs – wild sea and wet forest and eyes and teeth – or those other nights – fragrant with blossom, incandescent with moonlight and dreams, possessed by a cool beauty which evaporates with the dew…

It is, perhaps, worth mentioning that Big Night Music is entirely free of drum machines, sequencers, Fairlight Page R’s – digital heartbeats of every kind. Seductive though they are, Shriekback have opted to make a different kind of music – one which exalts human frailty and the harmonious mess of nature over the simplistic reductions of our crude computers.

A couple of samples for you: the opener of the album, “Black Light Trap”, and the most downright seductive song, “Exquisite”. This tune will make your most – um – intimate moments with that significant other even more so.

One Comment

  • Anonymous

    I absolutely agree. I liked “Oil an Gold”, but I played this album all the way through much more often. Thanks for the reminder.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *