Themes From Great Cities

It might have come to your attention that I'm not a regular poster of love and understanding, which you will just have to get used to. I will however, have bursts of creativity where I move completely randomly from post to post with no rhyme or reason. I have recently posted a few singles (7 & 12”) and the odd bootleg which have been received very well by all who visit. More of the same will continue as you, dear readers, seem to be enjoying them.

Some of the rips are my own, but many more are from other blogs and I’m just sharing the wealth. If other bloggers out there wish to share the rips from my posts, please as I do, host them yourself. To combat this, the FLAC files that are over 6 months old will be replaced with MP3 files.

Finally I am happy to re-up old posts where the link has expired. Please comment in the relevant posts comments box.


Back In Flesh (Again)

In some ways, Dark Continent is Wall of Voodoo's greatest album. Although it lacks the "Mexican Radio" of its follow-up, there is no filler and the arrangements and concepts are brilliantly executed. Proffering an utterly unique blend of drum machine beats, Marc Moreland's Western-influenced guitar leads, and Stan Ridgway's distinctive vocals and lyrics, Dark Continent has been compared to the music of Devo, but is not quite like anything (or anyone) else. The songs deal with natural and industrial perils, tense relationships, and reflect a cranky, working-class perspective that offers an interesting contrast to the new wave elements of prominent synthesizer and hyperactive rhythm box beats. If originality and artistic vision are any measure of a rock album's worth, Dark Continent delivers on both counts.

Every once in a while, a band creates an album that is truly unique, an album so starkly original and wildly creative that nothing before or since has sounded similar to it and likely never well. Truly this is the case with the group Wall of Voodoo's first LP, Dark Continent. Best remembered for their Top 40 1983 hit "Mexican Radio", a staple on most new wave and alternative rock stations as well as being a favourite in the early years of MTV, Wall of Voodoo is a group that's gained a cult following over the years but still remains unfortunately underrated by most. This is a damn shame, and I suggest anyone with an interest in new wave, punk, indie, and college rock as well as synthesizer-driven music with wildly absurd lyrics, really I'd suggest anyone with an interest in alternative 80’s music in general to pick this album up.
"2 Minutes to Lunch", introduces you to one of the main lyrical themes of all of Wall of Voodoo's music, that being their perspective on life in the working class and the dull, tiresome tedious everyday existence that can eat away at you on the inside. This theme comes up repeatedly in Wall of Voodoo's music, which really makes this band the perfect group to listen to if like most of us you're stuck in that dead-end job working for fuck all pay and the simple everyday routine of constantly checking the clock until you can escape from your duties and responsibilities.
“Animal Day” is yet another classic example of prototypical Wall of Voodoo song in that it features complex synthesizer effects, a ringing Ennio Morricone spaghetti-Western influenced guitar and the absurd and humorous lyrics of Ridgway, sung as only he could. If you're looking for an album with emotional and personal lyrics, look elsewhere, as Ridgway is more concerned with pointing out life's absurdities and putting a humorous spin on them as only he could.
But allow me to get to the song that initially got me interested in Wall of Voodoo and remains my favourite track of theirs to this day, and that's "Back in Flesh", which you may recognize from the brilliant performance the group did of the song for the 1982 documentary "Urgh! A Music War". This is truly Wall of Voodoo at their best.

An astonishingly unique and wildly creative cornerstone album of new wave music from the 1980s.

Ripped from the long deleted IRS Records 1992 reissue to MP3 @ 320kbps

Wall Of Voodoo; Dark Continent

1.      Red Light
2.      Two Minutes ‘Til Lunch
3.      Animal Day
4.      Full Of Tension
5.      Me And My Dad
6.      Back In Flesh
7.      Tse Tse Fly
8.      Call Box
9.      This Way Out
10.   Good Times
11.   Crack The Bell