Enormous savages enlarged
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A wonderful band from the UK, Cultural Amnesia are back in full flow in 2009. Originally released on vinyl in 2006 on Anna Logue Records, "Enormous Savages" is the first part of a collection of tracks that were released on cassette between 1981 and 1983. Some of those songs were even co-written by Jhonn Balance of Coil! A mix of synth pop, anaologue electronica and rhythmic Industrial, Cultural Amnesia fit in somewhere between Cabaret Voltaire and Portion Control with an added playfulness. An 80's classic ready to be re-discovered and loved! Plus: a selection of bonus tracks old and new, some from a very recent date that show you how CA sound in 2009!
"The connections between Cultural Amnesia and the early Industrial scene are more than just stylistic, and the echoes of Throbbing Gristle present in both the title and the music of a song like “Scars For E” not just coincidental. The band were unofficially managed by the late John Balance of Coil, who also wrote lyrics for them. (...) Closer antecedents, however, would be the gaunt yet lyrical early work of Ultravox, Gary Numan and the Human League."
(Sound Projector, July 2008)
"Had it not been for their early demise, this was a band that could have followed in the footsteps of Throbbing Gristle, Clock DVA, Dome, and Cabaret Voltaire circa 1981, as a blank austerity followed through the eccentric darkness grafted onto post-punk songs bristling with inventive if cheap electronics. Choppy sparkplug guitars influenced by Keith Levene's work on PiL's Metal Box punctuate the synthetic melodies, drum machinations, and motorik electronics. Lyrically, these are abject tales of blood, scars, alienation, and British misery, with some of the lyrics penned by Rushton himself. Those painfully eloquent songs are prescient of what Rushton was to bring to Coil's early work on Scatology, but they serve Cultural Amnesia very well on their own."
(Aquarius, May 2009)
"What I'd like to examine here are the five songs of the second period of the band. Partially available into the limited 3" "Little savages" and online at the band's website, the tracks composed after year 2000 find a band still full of ideas and able to use new sounds. "It's coming" mixes driving distorted guitars, piano, synths and drums to form a semi spoken word that sounds like a roller coaster ride (with stops and go and that sensation of having your chest pushed). "Contains" it's a beautiful electro experimental tune where voice is used again like a semi spoken word. The sound is rich and the catchy acoustic guitar lines sounds perfect with all those electronics sounds that come and go. "I heard it on the radio" recalls a little the 80's atmosphere with a sort of electronic ballad with guitars that sounds like razors. In this way this sound is in opposition to the melancholy vocals. "Syst.admin" starts with a dissonant guitar that recalled me The Fall or A Witness while vocals sound like a sermon of a possessed priest. Everything is sustained by a syncopated drum. The Birthday Party on acid?"
(Chain DLK, May 2009)
"Eine Zeitreise in gute Rip It Up And Start Again-Tage. Bald werden es 30 Jahre, seit Gerard Greenway, Ben Norland & John Peacock in einem Kaff 40 km westlich von London, andere sagen in Oxford, ihren Beitrag zu dem leisteten, was man heute Postpunk nennt. Die billigen Rhythmen aus der Box, die Sounds von Korg MS10, Casio CT und einer Bontempi-Orgel sind zeittypische Indizien, Tausende von Cassetten wurden damit bespielt. CA bespielten 1980-83 ihre drei und lieferten 12 weitere Songs für diverse Compilationen. Mit Geoff Rushton, später bekannt als John Balance (Psychic TV, Coil), als ihrem Spiritus Rector, der auch mehrere der Songtexte lieferte, fielen dem Trio trockene, sarkastische, überdurchschnittlich wortgewandte Kommentare ein zum Stand der Dinge als Vorortbürschchen - Balance war gerade 18, Greenway erst 15 - im von den Konservativen unter Maggies Führung bekriegten Britannien."
(Bad Alchemy, May 2009)
"Cultural Amnesia have a history steeped in DIY cassette culture and family ties to Coil and Psychic TV, so you get a idea of where their coming from if yer in this biz. Cabaret Voltaire or Tuxedomoon electronics mixed with Gang of Four guitar stabs and even some Bauhausian Goth channeling that lost Sheffield sound. This collection is less abrasive and experimental than I imagined, more skewed pop or post-clank punk. Tracks would feel at home nestled on a Fast Product 12. Also, theres some softer non-punk textures and Pop Group agitation in the grooves."
(Terminal Boredom, August 2009)
Cat. number: gg124
CD in a limited edition of 500 copies.