Those paying attention to posts here which are not about Simple Minds in the last several months, may have noticed a fair amount of Shriekback activity. That band have been highly active of late, working the legacy action as well as moving forward. The current core of the band includes Barry Andrews and Martyn Barker, as well as Carl Marsh, who returned after a 25 year adventure elsewhere on their last disc, 2010’s “Life In The Loading Bay.” The last six months saw “Care” and “Jam Science” [plus Live At Hatfield Poly] reissued on CD, and in the case of “Care,” LP as well. Nice chunks of band and solo material are also available from the group’s web store in your choice of DL formats [AAC, MP3, WAV].
All the while, the current Shriekback album had been nobly gestating for upwards of four years. Word came from SHQ on January 19, 2015 that the new album was ready. Last night at roughly 6 PM EST came the missive stating that there was a deluxe boxed edition of fifty available in the Shriekback web store for £50. This deluxe edition comes with a 3D printed sea bass [and access to the files so you can print your own, in addition to files of the band themselves as mercilessly teased earlier on this blog], art cards and most intriguingly [though we love the tchatchkes] a second album entitled simply…
The latter album will probably be a CD-R which Mr. Andrews describes as the band and “Bruce and Carlo [Ascuitti] from Restaurant For Dogs” dubbing the hell out of the master tapes in the vein of “Scientist Versus Space Invaders.” Well then! It’s always pleasing to have Carlo Ascuitti in the orbit of Shriekback, as some of their most left field moments have Carlo at the vocal helm. So, sign me up… as soon as I have a spare £50 [$73.32 in February 6, 2015 dollars].
Except that, that was last night and today, when I hop over to the Shriekback web store all of these magical products of sound are no longer there. With the worldwide Shriekback community hopefully signed up to the band’s mailing list, it could be that the handful of copies made have already found homes outside of my Record Cell. Fair enough. I don’t have the scratch at this moment. But wait! There was more!
As presaged by Mr. Andrews asking the musical question to the assembled masses, “would you be willing to pay a premium for an exclusive, bespoke Shriekback tune written to your title specification?” after the feedback was collated and undoubtedly run through chi-squared testing, the answer was “Yes!” Now, how much would you pay? It turns out that for £200, there was a special edition of this already special edition Shriekback album with all of the goodies in the limited edition version plus your very own Shriekback song [of two minutes in length]. But all of this is currently moot, since the store no longer lists any versions of the “Without Real String Or Fish” album. As for me, I will be lucky to buy the straight version from the band, once the mass market version is released; on CD and LP a bit later.
Word to the wise. If you want this album, it will only be available from the band’s web store. None of the usual retailers will carry it with their commensurate 30% tribute. With the band effectively now a trio, they can no longer spare a chunk for Malicious Damage their usual record label, or for those download resellers for that matter. They are the label now, and purchase gives the buyer direct karmic feedback from the artists without middlemen in the way.
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