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Album Feature/ VAW & Heliogabalus

img  Tobias

Quite a lot of people are confused by this release. Which, at first, seems quite natural. The Difficult Fun label, after all, is the perfect place for the most welcome kind of weirdness and the wooziest wonders to be found on music’s eternal scrapyard. Still, this Split-LP (180 superb grammes of Vinyl longing to rotate on your turntable) consisting of two entire Mini-Albums (one for each approximately 25-minute long side) contains all the ingredients to appeal to more than just four drunken Post-Rock fans with a broken relationship. Here’s how the cookie crumbles:

VAW is the latest outlet of Cameron Bain and has nothing to with Violence Against Women or any equally abreviated organisations (but don’t ask us what it truly means). Appearances are not exactly Cameron’s thing: His homepage consists of nothing more than a black and white picture with two music files for download. This self-titled debut comes in the heels of turning from intellectual music-maniac into punk rock afficionado and offers a collection of devastated guitar splinters, too-weak-to-walk melodies, strummed Velvet Underground-Chords and a tortured midnight piano behind a veil of foggy sadness. On the final track, the aptly titled “Only the lonely”, a drugged Trumpet looses its way duetting with spaced-out sound effects. Broken, but beautiful.

Heliogabalus are a duo and their name has everything to do with the utterly scandalous (and probably highly enjoyable) life of the Roman emperor, who entered the throne in 218, organised mass orgies for four years, only to be brutally killed. Appearances are not exactly the band’s thing: Their homepage consists of nothing more than a bizarre drawing and an apologetic text. “Kingsland Waste” comes in the heels of long recording sessions using lots of acoustic instruments and the cheapest tape recorders and offers scraping and scratching Guitar strings, too-sad-too-cry melodies, strummed Blues-Chords and the groaning and moaning of a spear-pierced beast in a rusty cage. On the final track, the aptly titled “First Thought, Worst Thought”, picked guitars loose their way in a wordless mantra. Extreme, but emotional.

We’re sure that Andy Warhol would have loved this, but that doesn’t mean that it’s art for art’s sake. Quite on the contrary: Because these pieces don’t claim to save your life or pretend to change the world, they just might. If there’s anything confusing about this release, it’s that not more people have noticed yet.

Homepage: Difficult Fun
Homepage: VAW
Homepage: Heliogabalus

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