Gloryoski! I was keeping my head down, minding my own huge stack of affairs threatening to rain down on my head yesterday morning when I received a communique from the Shriekback mailing list. Apparently idle hands are still the Devil’s Workshop, even in these End Times! Because the Shriekmaschine knows of no laurels to rest upon. They are doing the work, and damn it, move with them or get out of the way!
The band are no strangers to crowdsourcing in these dark days. It’s how things work, now. But usually, the band put the campaign up front, then fund the recording with the proceeds taken in to meet various budgets. This time, there’s none of that. The album has been recorded [even though they just sprang it upon us yesterday] and all that awaits us is the actual mixing. the point where albums are made or destroyed, and the duplication of the final consumer goods. We even have a name and cover design for this 17th album…
Bowlahoola! I’ve long appreciated Mr. Andrews’ sprawling vocabulary, and all it brings to the songs, but this was a new word on me so I had to look it up. Not shockingly for Mr. A. it’s a William Blake reference. “Bowlahoola” was name of the section of Blake’s metaphorical city of Golganooza. Where the furnaces of production compare to the vital organs of man. Well, I’d say that Andrews’ furnaces of production are firing full tilt.
And this time, because the follow up from “1000 Books” was just months down the road, Mr. Andrews has let us know that the other limbs of the band: Martyn Barker and Carl Marsh weren’t able synchronize watches to join in on this one. So this will be an Andrews-centric Shriekback album this time. Fortunately, Wendy + Sarah Partridge were available to add their lovely human voices to the proceedings, so this still has 60% of the Shriek-DNA in the roiling stew.
Mr. Andrews is no shrinking violet when it comes to solo albums, but the fact that this one is branded a s Shriekback, means that there will be sufficient quantities of the element X that only Shrieback bring to the table. And he avers that he fully expects them regrouping on album #18. Meanwhile, he’s dropped a sampler of three tracks: “Safe Word,” All Lie Down In The River,” and “The Wolfman Whinesplains.” Click the link and the playback button is at the bottom right of the home page.
I heard, variously, swaggering synths and a thrashing brashness [“Safe Word”]. A multi-tracked sea shanty-cum-ballad [“All Lie Down In The River”]. And a Roma-influenced number that quickly pivoted to a wall of synths on the grandiose chorus [“The Wolfman Whinesplains”]. So yes, the Shriek-buttons were duly pressed and that last one was some groovy new outlier to somewhere I’d like to see the band explore further.
The band have left those costly crowdsourcing platforms behind and now do this from their own website. The buy-in to finish this one off and duplicate it is a CD + DL [full-res WAV as ever, from Shriekback] is a reliable £25.00 Now an even better bargain than ever with the Pound Sterling plummeting to $1.14 American! The button below reveals a full complement of fine levels of buy in. Ever want a full Restaurant For Dogs album? It’s there for a pittance of £30! Also a fine boxed set of the three Malicious Damage albums the band issued in the noughts for £80! Alas, I only ever got the DLX “Cormorant” CD so this calls to me. “Life In The Loading Bay” is one tough CD to find and most of the copies out there are more than £80.
No word on the time limits on the campaign, but better now than never. Though my shekels are seriously scarce this year, I hope to drop my coin in the slot in time to make the difference. After all, it’s Shriekback. Hit that button.