THE INSANE PICNIC - This Is The Winter Darkness (Falling A)
I remember this band as one of the pioneers of the cassette album culture of the early 80's, and as they were on the Falling A label way back then I would assume that they have an interest in this re-launch for the CD age. The music, however, seems to have stayed in the tape era, as it is very much in the style of the 'shambling' bands of the late 80's like Bogshed et al. Jerky rhythms and shards of guitar behind a dubious vocalist do not make for very pleasant listening in this time of overproduced pop and dance tracks, but get past that and the band do have things to say. 'Military' is quite experimental, being a spoken tract over bleeping electronics and bass, but mostly the music is very reminiscent of Captain Beefheart without Van Vliet's vocal style. The main drawback of this CD is that is does sound very dated, and I do wonder if it was actually recorded in the 80's and recently rediscovered, but with no info on the sleeve I cannot say for sure. Certainly when Melody Maker described them as a cross between Echo And The Bunnymen and The Fall they were pretty much spot on, but their spindly, scratchy sort of indie rock music does sound out of place among the more polished variety that we are used to today. Try it if you are nostalgic for McCarthy and A Witness, but otherwise sample before you buy.