Saturday, June 16, 2007

VILE CHERUBS - The Man Who Has No Eats Has No Sweats CD (Afterburn/2007)

I'm usually loathe to mention or review the efforts of good friends, but this time I'm making an exception. I've been waiting an age for this to see the light of day, and whaddya know, it took a goddamn Australian to take the leap and get the recorded works of DC's Vile Cherubs back in print.

A couple of years back, on this very blog, I mentioned the short-lived early-'90s fanzine by the name of Boo Boo. I have one issue (the first... were there any others?) and it has an ad on the back page for a CD by the band on White Heap Records which makes references to Half Japanese and Pere Ubu. Sounded at the time (1993) like something way up my alley, but I never found it, time faded the memory and my thirst to hunt the release in question down withered.

Skip to 2007 and my old pal Scotti (of Au-go-go/Missing Link/Resistant Harmony/Roxus infamy) has issued this CD, which comprises of 9 studio tracks which ( I assume) are taken from that White Heap release as well as some from their lone 1988 LP on Dischord(!!). Chuck in 5 previously unavailable numbers and you have yourself a winner.

Who were the Vile Cherubs? A bunch of DC oddballs - a bit like Unrest or No Trend, I guess - who didn't quite fit the standard Dischord post-hardcore mold, a status which has resigned them to being a footnote in history for many, but as a man who loves footnotes, I say they were a band worth lending an ear to. Featuring future members of Circus Lupus (a band whose debut 7" I still have lying under a pile of crap around here somewhere), Capitol City Dusters and turgid monkeys like Nation Of Ulysses and The Fucking Champs (that's Tim Green), they admitted such influences as '60s psych and '70s art/prog rock - neither of which were probably big turntable faves for the DC baldies of the period - though whatever their alleged influences were, to me their sound comes across as a combo of DC post-HC a la Rites Of Spring w/ a heavy dollop of Brit post-punk, especially the gloom and guitar textures of Joy Division and the fuck-about rambunctiousness of the Swell Maps. Most definitely the latter.

A great mix it is, with some neat hooks and whallops of psych guitar damage. Whack on track 8, the epic "Never A Man", and you'll be convinced. It's limited, it's in a swish digipak w/ info and flyers galore and it don't sound a thing like Pere Ubu or Half Japanese. But you should get it anyway.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I lucked into seeing the Vile Cherubs open up for Swiz and Ignition in the back room of a hair salon. They were beyond incredible. This album is wonderfully obscure rock and roll that has held up for 20 years on my playlist. I still have the cassette they gave me!