Shriekback - Why Anything? Why This?



















Eine meine liebsten Platten aus den 80er Jahren stammt von Shriekback und trägt den Titel „Big Night Music“ (1986). Der Nachfolger „Go Bang!“ ließ zwei Jahre später diese Liebe aber schnell wieder abkühlen.

Dave Allen (Gang Of Four) und Barry Andrews (XTC) gründeten die Band 1981 in Kentish Town in London und über die Jahre hinweg veröffentlichten Shriekback insgesamt 13 Alben zwischen Post-Punk, New Wave und Rock. Aktuell besteht die Band im Kern aus Barry Andrews (Gesang, Keyboards), Carl Marsh (Gitarre) sowie Martyn Barker (Schlagzeug) und wird von Scott Firth (P.I.L.; Bass) sowie Wendy und Sarah Partridge (Gesang) unterstützt.

„Why Anything? Why This?“ heißt ihre aktuelle, selbst veröffentlichte Platte und sie wäre ein würdiger Nachfolger für „Big Night Music“ gewesen. Als Belege für diese These sollen die Songs „And The Rain“ und „37“ sowie einige sehr positive Plattenkritiken dienen:  

I loved the emotional arc of this album as it began with a massive explosion of energy and gradually, became more intimate and close-quartered as it played out; only amping up near its end to end for a rallying of the forces before resolving in a hesitant manner suggesting that all is not well. The caliber of the writing, arrangement and recording gave this one a real heft. It may have been made on a budget that would have paid for catering on a U2 record, but it sounds the furthest thing from cheap to these ears. As modern production is all about the software, this one dares to suggest that there’s life in instruments played in a room by a band with blues on their bones yet plenty of post-modern Coyote/prankster bite to take it all sufficiently left field. Anyone who is a fan of “Big Night Music” will find plenty to love here as the band explore similar moods and vibes; this time with bonus of Carl Marsh serving up a good portion of the tunes! Purchase with confidence, comrades.
(Post-Punk Monk)




As opening salvo Shovelheads bursts forth, it gives you an indication of some of the loose boundaries of their sonic playground this time out. Sleazy and raw guitars, sumptuous harmonies, diabolical gospel vibes and a more organic approach to the sound all resulting in the same apocalyptic blues, southern mutant grooves and blasted, wasteland rock vibes that the likes of Nick Cave and Jeffery Lee Pierce revelled in. (…)
Lead single, And The Rain tips a battered Fedora at Tom Waits, The Painter Paints is a blend of philosophical spoken word, scattered jazz fragments and late night soulfulness and 37 is a post-punk sea shanty to be sung as the final maelstrom pulls us under the waves. A reference to the band’s age too perhaps? As always it’s a joy to spend time in Shriekback’s world, a world of words and musical gene-splicing, a place that seems to exist with one foot in the dark underbelly of modern society and the other in a parallel, mirror world woven from their own wonderful imaginations, thoughts and fears.
(Dancing about Architecture)




Just listen to “And The Rain”, which features some incredible slide guitar from Marsh. This is a new sound for the band. The vocals and the music creates some Louisiana blues-style music, which one does not expect from Shriekback. But then, one should not expect anything from this band. Shriekback have built a career on continually changing their sound and growing. And after 37 years (they officially formed in 1980), they do not rest on their laurels nor try to recreate the past.
The album is full of different sounds (the brilliant “The Church Of The Louder Light”) and more intriguing images. A band such as Shriekback have an incredible history and sometimes have a difficult time living up to the fans expectations. With Why Anything? Why This? they not only met those expectations but surpass them. This album has the sound of a band enjoying themselves, even with some very dark lyrics throughout it. Their lyrics are strong, thought provoking and the instrumentation is stunning. Why Anything? Why This? is a  work of art. Sure it rocks at times, but it is art.
(Spill Magazine)


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