1982 – Alternative Tentacles
Punk/ Hardcore/ Goth
This second release from L.A hardcore band T.S.O.L shows a much more refined musical ability than their self-titled debut EP and also marks a shift towards a more gothic sound, but the energy and chaos of T.S.O.L still remains as loud and angry as ever.
The opening track Man and Machine really does echo that earlier incarnation of the band, but without the radical political element that characterized their first EP. I must say, however, that the follow up track Weathered Statues is a bit of a letdown. This title track is indicative of the band’s new interest in Goth-rock, and, to my mind, it’s really not anywhere near as good as their punk stuff. It has all of the elements of a good Goth track – the crypt-like bass, the hollow vocals – but somehow it just isn’t very good. Maybe it’s just that I’m used to this band snarling out their anger rather than wallowing in the overdramatic mire of gothic darkness, but I really just didn’t feel this one.
The next two tracks, however, show a marked improvement in their blending of the insanity of their punk playing and the sensibility of their Goth playing. The bass lines throb and the guitar screeches just like the most clichéd Bauhaus track, but here the vocals and the drums hold it all together with a sort of knowing nod to the group’s roots.
Word Is is a particularly nice track with its added element of ska beats. There is just something really quite fun in listening to the bopping guitar accompanying such a sneering band and it comes out sounding like some kind of weird mixture between The Clash’s London Calling and The Dead Kennedys’ Holiday In Cambodia. I’ve got to say that this track really was a treat.
Once again, however, this EP is really just too short at only four tracks. It’s just not quite long enough to really get a feeling for what you are listening to; as soon as you start to get into it, it just finishes, which is kind of sad. But, despite this shortcoming, Weathered Statues is a very good EP with four very good tracks. I would say that it is not quite as good as its predecessor and the band’s movement towards gothic pretension wasn’t the most welcome move for me, but it is still very good.
It’s a must have for fans of T.S.O.L and a should have for any fans of either Goth or punk music, but I wouldn’t be all that surprised if many of you haven‘t heard it.
Here is ‘Word Is’ one of the great tracks from T.S.O.L’s EP Weathered Statues
- T.s.o.l – T.s.o.l (ljfacesthemusic.wordpress.com)
- The Scent of the Flower and Our Spirit (gnosticwarrior.com)