Labels: Ferric Mordant
Review by: Andy Malcolm
Not a lot arrives in the post for review these days and even less of it is probably for me. This however, most definitely is. Bad Amputee are from Newcastle upon Tyne and playing drawn out slowcore in the fashion of all your 90s favourites. You’ve got your Lows, your Codeines, you know the kinda thing. Ponderous rhythms, dual vocals, a dark atmospheric mood, slate grey skies, rain coming down as you’re stuck on a hill 2 miles from the car and 2 miles in the opposite direction from the pub. Whether you are headed to the car or the pub is up to however you want to imagine this scenario. The influences surely run a lot deeper and more varied than a hack job 90s revival, which is why this is such a fascinating release for me. Sadly my stuck in a cul-de-sac music knowledge can’t really do this justice but maybe there are elements of 1960s English folk music and more obviously Neil Young that I can pick out.
Bad Amputee certainly like to give you your money’s worth. Of the six tracks, none are shorter than 6:25 and four of them crack the seven minute mark. It’s the sort of space that these songs need though, to build and expand from the sparse beginnings. There’s six minutes of Rhona, barely mutating before slowly shifting through the gears to the finish. Love this sort of thing, me.
So yes. This is an excellent release, you don’t really hear much music in this fashion any more that is as perfectly constructed as this. It’s founded on a rock solid base through band members having years of experience, and they have carved out a sound that really stands out in 2021.
A side note here is that this was released on Ferric Mordant and the last time I appear to have reviewed a release on that label was (literally checks notes) 22 years ago. That release was FE3. This release is FE11. Glacial. Apologies to all at Ferric Mordant if you have read my ancient review that is quite bad. At least I liked the record. In continuing the needless padding of this review with vaguely related information – according to Discogs, the band on that 1999 release feature Phil Tyler. Who is also in Bad Amputee. And thus, all loose ends are tied and you can finally leave this review now. Thanks.