pre>He features previously unreleased material by Graham Lewis, recorded between his stints in Dome and He Said. It begins with the harsh, distorted tape loops of Dolass Violphin, a nightmarish, outrageously lengthy piece that brings Boyd Rice to mind as its rhythms fade in and out over a relentless 'beat'. This is industrial music in the true sense of the word.
In complete contrast comes Front, Back and Profile, a much calmer piece created from lush textures that is almost reminiscent of some of Colin Newman's ...singing fish— it's certainly the most thoughtful piece on the album. This does little to prepare the listener for He said 'Argh...', which is a return to noise terror with stressed overlaid vocals that slowly turn to intricate Dome-like loops and clattering guitars.
Lying in State was originally composed as part of an installation project and basically consists of fifteen minutes of plodding, bassy staccato. Tedious and stagnant, it almost seems it was included to fill up space. However, Fresh Life returns energy and abrasiveness to this release in what is in fact an early version of Pump. Fractured rhythms and guitars, echoes vocals and harsh electronics create a reasonable ending to this collection that borrows more from the styles and ideas of Dome than any of Graham's other work.
Far from easy listening, this CD contains some worthwhile food for the open-minded. Although it becomes a little tedious after He Said 'Argh...' the first three tracks are engaging and thoughtful. Just don't expect a pop record.
Craig Grannell (1998)