Nov 052012

The Full Package

Imagine descending into the shadows, and taking a journey through the sewers into an underworld that only plausibly and tentatively resembles our world. Imagine entering a universe that has been skewed and remade from the discarded flotsam of daily life, where normality has been jettisoned and we are led to wait in an enclosed and sealed-off subterranean enclosure, where our connection with the outside world is only heard as fragments and noises through the solid walls. This is a place that has acquired a life of its own. This is a deep dark place where the rats infest and dominate our dream spaces, and where everything is cut-up and re-imagnied in bricolage.

The Infernal Family, by Liverpool alt-rock soundscapers Windmill Moth Glue, is an album to be experienced, and only experienced. It’s not an album to be listened to, instead it has to be lived. This is the experience of a dysfunctional fairground ride in a half-remembered dream. It’s a nightmarish hall of broken mirrors, populated with characters who scream and prod the traveller who might dare to undertake this particular journey.

This is not an album aimed at audiences or demographics constituencies. It’s un-reality is part Ballard, part Gaiman and part Bradbury. So many pop idioms are skewed and regurgitated in a mutilated form, that the topsy-turvy world it embodies has a twisted logic of it’s own and makes sense in the same way that light from a candle makes sense through a darkened and dirty window pane. There’s elements of rock-n-roll, country, glam rock, and goodness-knows-what else mashed here. Like debris collecting in a storm drain, slowly mutating into a new form of life.

As an antidote to the Euro-synth-pop and boy-band nausea that drives the charts, The Infernal Family is an album full of ideas and challenge. That’s not to say that it is friendly. It takes in a wide ranging alternative world-view, where nothing is off-limits. The most accessible track is the Morricone inspired Yankee Noodle, which shows a promise of lyrical and melodic experimentation that is otherwise eschewed for the rest of the album.

The packaging for the limited editions is amazing. Low-fi. Hand crafted and genuinely unique images. The limited edition vinyl album is a treat, and the CD has been given more care than a CD can ever deserve, with it’s hand crafted and ribboned cover. This is a fragile moment that needs to be looked after, like the tracks themselves.

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