10 January 2013

TERMINAL CHEESECAKE Angels in Pigtails 1990


[+] by Steve Huey
Arising from the deepest part of the U.K.'s underground noise-rock scene, Terminal Cheesecake was perhaps best known for their connections to more prominent bands like Skullflower, Godflesh, and A.R. Kane. Similar in many respects to the former two, Terminal Cheesecake offered a spacy, droning brand of neo-psychedelic noise-rock, which also drew from the trance-rock of Loop, early industrial music (particularly Throbbing Gristle, Nurse With Wound, and Chrome), British post-punk, and dub. Much more than their kindred spirits, though, TC played up the drug connections inherent in psychedelia, wrapping their music in a haze of pot smoke and LSD hallucinations; their oddly processed vocals and sheer love of strange noises only underlined the esoteric drug references in many of their titles.Terminal Cheesecake was founded in London in 1988 by vocalist Gary Boniface, who'd begun his career as a drummer with several rockabilly-revival outfits, then moved on to front the obscure Vibes and Purple Things. He was first joined by guitarist Russell Smith, a tangential member of the A.R. Kane/M/A/R/R/S axis. Accompanied by a virtually anonymous rhythm section, they signed to the fledgling British indie Wiiija and debuted in 1988 with the Bladdersack EP (also the label's first-ever release). Their full-length bow was 1989's Johnny Town-Mouse, which took its title from a Beatrix Potter story. It marked the first appearance of Gordon Watson, a guest guitarist who later joined the band officially. A second LP, V.C.L. (which stood for "Valium Chicken Leg"), appeared later in 1989 and featured a cover of Flipper's "Sex Bomb."1990's Angels in Pigtails was the band's most fully realized album to date, featuring a stronger rhythm section of Watson on bass and Joe Whitney on drums. It was released on the Pathological label, which also showcased the band on a sampler compilation alongside grindcore acts like Godflesh, Carcass, and Napalm Death, as well as more experimental noisemakers like Coil and God. Russell Smith subsequently left the group, and joined Skullflower in 1992; he also played as a sideman with God from time to time. Watson took over his spot as guitarist, in front of a new rhythm section composed of bassist Steven "Fez" Fesinger and drummer Simon Doling. This core quartet would constitute Terminal Cheesecake for the remainder of their existence, starting with the 1992 album Pearlesque Kings of the Jewmost (for World Serpent). The group next signed with Jackass for 1993's Gateau d'Espace EP, which was followed by the full-length King of All Spaceheads in 1994. This proved to be the group's final album, as they disbanded the following year; Boniface, Watson, and studio engineer Johnno "Poppa" Newman immediately reteamed as Bud Alzir, which pursued a more dub- and techno-inflected direction on their lone eponymous album.
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IHateThe90s said...


lex dexter said...

So very rad. A perfect UK addition to my global, beloved "bad attitude rock" canon of those (midwestern noise-rockin') early 90s!