Ask not for whom the axeman cometh... - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #176


After godless motherlode Sleep proved that the future would indeed belong to the Hashishian, intrepid mung worshippers have been forever asking, in between wheezing coughs and Melvins B-sides ‘from whence sprang this God-given yawp?” and more precisely, where can we get more of the stuff, raw, from the source? And thus commenced a mass dive into the back shelves of record shops, the back pages of the more obscure weeklies. A few progenitors were identified. On one hand the Doors, with their religious lyrics and Blakesian Williamness, another the MC5’s garage freerock, still more pointed to Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer as invented the distorted blues that built the songs of Sleep, the Melvins. Thus one of the greatest back catalogues ever assembled (and still growing) comes down to a sea of proto-Zeppalike bands with nothing to recommend them, and precious few beautiful, iconic gems as yet unassimilated into the modern culture, and a wealth of spectacularly idiosyncratic bands, too weird to live, too rare to die. Every so often, when the angst gets too much and I have to close the curtains and take to smoking opium through an eight foot hookah and wearing the masters robes just to get through the day, what I like to do best is trawl the history books and dig out something or other that scratches my very particular itch. Hooboy have I found a cure-all fuckin’ record. It comes from the world-changing post-sixties heyday of 1969, and it comes for you!

The sixties rock aesthetic, tramping relentlessly behind Slack Babbath seems obvious now, but at the time, it was a right maelstrom of different ideas; all of which, for better or worse, appear in the music of the Wicked Lady. It’s no different today. Most people don’t know what culture’s doing today (I do, but that’s why I’m a cultural commentator and you’re probably not), but our culture will chiefly be remembered as the people who only took this super-depresso religious quasi-capitalistic ‘music’ for so long before sometime summer 2014 lining up around the world and on an agreed signal slitting the throat of the person in front. The event will only be remembered by a few Inuit fishermen, who will discuss it in the coming months and drink heavily. Anyway… The Wicked Lady! Ah yes! I tellz yah motherfuckers if you were locked AT ALL into the sonic grumblings of San Jose’s Sleep, with their hour long religious remunerations on the weedian, you’re gonna dig the Wicked Lady, and that is the Wicked Lady; the the is definitely present. Don’t want you cats mis-googleing.

Recall dem Yankees Type O Negative and their ‘live’ album, featuring such to-the-bone song titles as I Know You’re Fucking Someone Else, Pain and Kill You Tonight (all worthy) but two stunning slomo hashed-up re-hashed remixes of rock royalty. Hey Pete is a twisted drunken stagger of Hendrix’s masterful Hey Joe. The other is Slack Babbath’s Paranoid; a stunningly solid evocation of what Sabbath meant to do with that overhyped overegged piece of nonsense. The Type O version packs it out with Pete Steele’s legendary downtuned vocals and “people think I’m insane, because I am frowning all the ti- ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-um”. Well ‘magine that if you will woken by the cops at 4am and only able to get itself a coupla lines of coke and a fistful of amphetamines, ‘cept oh shit some of that fistful was mescal. That’s kinda like the Wicked Lady.

Yes that doesn’t make sense, but I’m writing this with sunburned arms on holiday, so fuck you man.
Written under duress by Steven.

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