Monday, 13 October 2008



In some ways sounding like a heroin afflicted version of Pulp, with “Colossal Youth” Young Marble Giants serve up a very dry and dour description of proceedings while still wearing sensible shoes.

With a throbbing pulse occasionally akin to a fun pack version of Suicide, the sole Young Marble Giants record is a very dark sounding affair, cagey as it is experimental.

Quite frankly one of the most dour records in history this album benefits from the strand of music that is The House That Kurt Built and the sad reality that away from anorak obsessives and beards just because of the Nirvana namedrop this is the only reason people will have ever heard of this record or this band.

Ultimately this is quite a bloody-minded record, tightly wound and mildly intense with it in that way only the scuzziest people at school would be. As a result the pace is slow and measured, intentional in its unease both in projection and listener reaction.

With jagged licks akin to Gang Of Four this was the sound of disenchanted Cardiff in the early eighties long before Torchwood came along to save the day and while the Soul Crew had aspirations.

At times the music is just strange. When proceedings overdose and overload on keyboards the resulting “The Taxi” sounds like a cross between a Tetris song and crazed amusement muzak.

The lyrical content is full of angst touching on death, drugs and exam results all wrapped in chip paper boredom. This is of course runs much against the sweet and pleasant tones of the actual vocal delivery thus making the experience that bit more disturbing.

Despite the impressive aspirations it is unfortunate to have to resign myself to the reality that this is not a record to maintain the attention. I have to admit for years I did not realise the song “Credit In The Straight World” was Hole covering the Young Marble Giants but you can see why Courtney chose to unleash it onto a world ripe for further disillusion.

A record only for the most patient and/or deranged of music followers. A false legacy has been attached.

Thesaurus moment: juvenescence.

Young Marble Giants
Rough Trade

No comments: