Record Review: Shriekback – The Elated World [part 1]

Shriekback | CD-R | 2017

Shriekback: The Elated World UK CD-R [2017]

  1. Artminx
  2. Sensation To Sensation
  3. Cruel Optimism
  4. Clench Fist Labs
  5. Brilliant Patina
  6. 960 Drive
  7. Neirophreak 1
  8. Neurophreak 2
  9. You Meaning You
  10. Indecisive Phenotype
  11. Tiny Struggle
  12. St’Bolay Mood
  13. T*ts
  14. Mombassa Moon
  15. More Percussion [Than There Actually Is]
  16. No Magic
  17. Neoplasm
  18. The Bronx
  19. We Never Died Of Winter Yet

Good gravy! Several days ago a CD mailer appeared in my mailbox, seemingly unbidden. It was sent from the UK and I wracked my brains trying to discern exactly what it could be. The only outstanding thing that came to mind was the third It’s Immaterial album, but according to their PledgeMusic page, they were in the final stages of mastering; no triumphant tales of completion just yet. Then I thought… Shriekback?

I had written recently about the Kickstarter campaign Shriekback had successfully run to fund their return to the live stage this year, and in the waning days of that campaign, they announced a “£1 or more” buy-in wherein pledgers would receive a pre-release version of their upcoming “The Elated World” album. As I read that news, my mind must have imposed the notion of the music in question being a DL, since it never specified any format. But surely, I thought, not grasping the psychological ploy inherent in such an offer, for a buy-in as little as £1 this has got to be a DL! Given that I was on vacation two weeks ago and saving money furiously for the big event, I felt that I could spare £5 and if I got a DL of a Shriekback project that would be on CD later in the year, I could always buy the preferred hard copy, which would ace the MP3s I was certain that this would entail.

Shows what I know [or assume]. No. This was a full-on Shriekback self-released CD like the ones they have been selling themselves of late. A professionally printed digipak® with a silkscreen printed CD-R of the music. Excepting the tendency of CD-Rs to experience bitrot over time/environmental factors, as close to god’s own CD format [god glass masters the things] as one could get. As for the music itself, what was it all about?

Well, in late 2014 Barry Andrews posited a notion of a bespoke Shriekback tune written for anyone willing to pledge £200 to the band for doing so. The pledger could specify a title but had no other input creatively on the end product. Said song was to be a minimum of two minutes in length. Mr. Andrews queried the members of the Shriekback mailing list on the grooviness of this enterprise and I came down on the “not so groovy” side of the fence. While £200 [$250 in sound, American dollars] to have a professional rock act [whom you presumably love] make a song for you is on the face of it, a bargain – the larger part of me rails against this as being a way of coddling the elite [who need no such tender mercies] while simultaneously providing existential angst for the band’s collectors of more modest means.

At the time, I suggested to Mr. Andrews that a way out of this existential dilemma was to do the project. After all, I want the band to get funding and this was a creative response to said need. I suggested that when it’s done, to host a special concert where pledgers got free entry. Anyone else would pay for the privilege. At that show they would only play the 30 songs they had commissioned. Record the show and sell it as a limited release CD in the Shriekstore. Problem solved. At the time Mr. Andrews responded and said that others were of a similar opinion and the ability of collectors to have it all could be addressed. Well, two years later, they’ve done something better. They are going to release the commissioned tunes themselves. “The Elated World” sports 19 of these and since we’re out of time today, we’ll delve into them tomorrow. Same Monk Time…same Monk Channel!

Next: …Shriekback unfettered

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
This entry was posted in Core Collection, Record Review and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Record Review: Shriekback – The Elated World [part 1]

  1. Dana Madore says:

    WOW !!!

    I have only ONE word… EXCELLENT !!!

    I await the NEXT ‘MONK’ entry !!!



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