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Friday, March 6, 2009

Gene Loves Jezebel - Immigrant

Name: Gene Loves Jezebel
Album: Immigrant
Year: 1985
Style: Gothic New Wave Metal
Similar Bands: Early U2, Suede, Alarm, The Church, Echo & Bunnymen, Placebo
"One Word" Review: meandering-whine-anthem-rock
Based Out Of: London, UK
Label: Relativity, Situation Two, Import Ant Record
Immigrant - Cover & Tape

Immigrant (1985)
  1. Always A Flame 4:29
  2. Shame 3:46
  3. Stephen 4:43
  4. Bruisies 3:38
  5. The Immigrant 3:55 /
  6. Cow 4:47
  7. Worth Waiting For 3:36
  8. The Rhino Plasty 5:05
  9. Deep South Wale 4:00
  10. Coal Porter 4:32
Album Rating (1-10): 4.5

Members & Other Bands:
Jay Aston - Vox, Guitar, Piano (Edith Grove, Immigrants)
Michael Aston - Vox
Ian Hudson - Guitar
Jean-Marc Lederman - Keys
Peter Rizzo - Bass
John Leckie - Producer
Marcus Gilvear - Drums
Chris Bell

Unknown-ness: I think I have actually heard of Gene Loves Jezebel before I bought this tape. They were one of the names I must have come across listening to 80’s new wave bands and I’m sure they were referenced somewhere. I know I did not buy the tape based on the album imagery, it looks drab and strained. It looks, with the color scheme of the pic and the font that it is trying to be gothic. But this is something I usually avoid, but somehow, it was in my tape collection when I went through the tapes I knew I had never really listened to. So here we go, with another album that I will listen to, and never be able to gain these minutes of life back.

Album Review: “Always A Flame” starts with its very tinny sounding guitar work, filled with echoy effects and overlaid with an equally echoy vocal. The song launched into a U2 song musically. The vocals are androgynous, as in I know they are guys, but gender is lost on the gothic, dark vocals. The strummidy guitar and driving drums, overlaid with soaring guitar work that almost cries out in eternal pain. After a fade out, a drum fill begins the next song, “Shame” with the same elements, soaring guitars and synth effects, somewhat shrill vocals and a steady somewhat disjointed rhythm. There is an inexplicable musical breakdown about 2:15 into the song, and it picks up with the same synth effects and very repetitive chorus. “Stephen” is a sprase musical soundscape. Perhaps a little like Wire’s slower stuff. The vocals are a slow droning. And the song meanders along with what sounds like an almost random drum beat and more crying guitars. It really feels like it goes on forever. “Bruises” is not listed on the tape’s cover. It only appears on the song listing on the tape itself. This is supposedly a single from their earlier album, so I don’t know what it is doing here. But it is a good song, the urgency in the vocals is unique, especially in the catchy chorus. But it, like the rest of the songs, does go on for a bit too long. “The Immigrant” rounds out the side with a whining string sound and the anthemic vocals & music mix. This is the type of music I really don’t understand, I don’t really like it, you can’t really dance to it, and it kinda just drones on and on. And it floats out as it ends, like it is carried on a passing wind.

“Cow” starts side two with a bit more punk structure, but it still comes of jangley and anthemic. The drum and bass beat is disjointed, almost Gang of Four-like. But the vocals and production of the guitars mask any kind of similarity that might have existed. Listening to the music is like a background activity…you can easily get caught up doing other things, not pay attention to it, come back to it, and it is in the same place you left it. There is a sort of wall of sound to their style too, that is impenetrable. “Worth Waiting For” has a strong Gang of Four bass-drum beat, and even comes close in style with its lead guitar too. But its chorus reverts back to a lazy melody, detracting from the quality of the song. The disjointed rhythm comes back in the next song “The Rhino Plasty” it is kind of all over the place in the beginning, and it settles for an eerie haunting vocal and watery guitar sound for a section, and reverts to a track that just sounds unfinished. The repetitive line “look at your nose” definitely stands out, and is a positive thing about the song. A relatively cool normal drum beat kicks off “Deep South Wale” and droning whine-tars drill their solo notes into your head one at a 15 second long time. The vocals feel like they are nervous and jittery, almost like the bands Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Arcade Fire tried to copy. “Coal Porter” finally finishes the album, and I can’t say I’ll remember any of the tracks. The beginning of this track is wispy vocals, sounding like Tim Booth, from James. But unlike James, the song fails to pick up the pace. It maintains a steady sedentary drive. It picks up with jammy guitars and a general meh tempo. This might be a bit Gary Newman too, but I’m just guessing at that, as I don’t know much of his style.

Stand Out Track: Worth Waiting For

Links:
Wikipedia
Allmusic
Website (jay)
Website (michael)
Jay's Site
UK Myspace
Michael Interview
Cd Universe Album Info
Where the music takes you-Review
Musicians Guide Bio

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