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'Way Else'   

-  Label: 'Happy Happy Birthday to Me'
-  Genre: 'Industrial' -  Release Date: '24th February 2017'-  Catalogue No: 'HHBTM 185-Bonus'

Our Rating:
This is the bonus album that comes with vinyl copies of Suck The Light Out, which is reviewed here: Suck The Light Out. To say that the contents of the bonus album is a bit of a mystery is only a reflection of it not having a track listing and coming in a brown cardboard sleeve with the album name stamped on it and nothing else to give much away. Also I can't find a track list on the label or band's online sites so we'll go with no one knowing what's what, bootleg style. It will help to already know the band's material, that I can say for sure.

So I'll start with Side O, which opens with the sort of re-mix designed to test your sanity. It goes off on all sorts of weird and bizarre tangents with odd sounds coming and going at weird times so that the harmonica is the most normal thing left. The second song keeps the vocals intact from its original mix and reins in the madness of the original version. Even If I can't name the tune, I recognise it. Then the odd rap section comes in and all bets are off as it goes all nursery rhymes on tramadol on us.

The third song starts with soft pulses and strings and is almost soundtrack background music until the B-movie horror action happens both musically and vocally complete with collapsing fairground sounds to jar against anything around it. The fourth song has some nice space sounds covered in layers of oddness and opaque noises set against some cool female vocals from Camellia. In itself, this heralds a round or two of applause.

The fifth song sees Renee ready to run away from Doug if he insists on making her listen to any more music like this, while the implosions of noise and squelching sounds that finally have some relief as Camellia's vocals come in towards the end.

Side O ends with what sounds like an outtake from the Eraserhead soundtrack. It gets increasingly odd and impassioned but it's nowhere near as good as the original mix of whatever song this is.

Side OO takes one of the band's best songs and covers it in even odder sounds than the original. Then moves it further and further from being a cool song into something altogether more annoying even if the vocals do at least remain pretty cool.

The second song has nice cheap synth sounds and cool sparseness at the beginning before it seems to lose the plot with a bit of a nervous breakdown as the dental drill noises come in. Then the third song sounds like The Fall at their most obtuse.

The fourth song threatens to be a four to the floor club banger created by a Martian on Ketamine before it loses the plot as the K-hole approaches. It features enough ideas for 3 albums, let alone one song - just out there and bizarre.

The fifth song is a bit muted compared to its original iteration. I really liked the tribal drumming interlude that is far too short as well as the harmonica on the chorus. The album closes with a song that is all stripped back and gentle to begin with as Doug's vocals tell a story. This becomes one of the easiest songs to digest here until it starts to build towards its drop and Doug gets more desperate. It makes for a cool closing number and works really well.

This bonus disc is pretty much for die-hard fans only but if you like your music as mad as mad can be go and get a copy of Suck The Light Out with this here beauty from Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records online

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  author: simonovitch

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