Le Sacre De Liévre by Terminal Cheesecake

Release date: May 10, 2019
Label: Box Records

I’ve been working on a puzzle lately, trying to fill the gaps in my knowledge of the UK’s modern psych scene, trying to work out where the bands on labels like Rocket Recordings, Hominid Sounds and Box Records came from…and by that I mean what is their musical heritage or lineage?

I recently delved back into Oneida and Mugstar and following the last Anthroprophh album started trying to work out The Heads (and the exceptional This Heat), I had heard the name Terminal Cheesecake tossed around, but I don’t think I was ready yet, ‘cause something didn’t click until recently. Maybe it was context, maybe it was just happenstance, but when I tell you that there’s a band with members of Gnod, Luminous Bodies and many others bands under one banner at one time or another, it’s not a supergroup, it’s a heritage. It’s like a proverbial mount rushmore for the psych scene us fresh faced lysergic twits thought had just sprung from the ground like mushrooms from a spore kit. Having recently been studying Terminal Cheesecake to try and get my head around their music and to try and decide whether or not it was really for me, I’ve come to the conclusion that whatever I think of their music now, I will no doubt have to reassess later. I’m just not quite wacky enough yet.

What I love about this album is that it feels like it exists in its own space. It’s sludgy but, dubby, it’s psych in both the modern sound and in a fairly retro sounding way but, it also finds time for very comfortable acid squelches. The production is actually great in this regard, on a prima facie level it sounds a little less polished and compressed to what I’m used to, however, there’s a genius in this because this record sounds so fuzzy and yet so, warm and viscous at the same time. I love the squealing of noisy guitars that at every opportunity clashes with the constant desensitised, smoked too many bongs dread drone that permeates through the albums lower frequencies. One of the things that’s challenging about the album is I no longer have any idea who’s influencing who or what it sounds like ‘cause for all I know, the people in this band might have influenced the shit I already know. Just ‘cause at times it might sound like Sex Swing or Temple ov Bvv or whatever else with it’s use of brass or its sonic brutality, I keep wondering how much of this is present in the Terminal Cheesecake back catalogue?

Le Sacre De Liévre is for me a great album overall, however, the height of the album to me is ‘V.D.K. Neck’ due to the level of immediacy and intensity it offers, especially in regards to the vocals of Neil Francis. There are times in which I feel like this album is creating a lot of background atmosphere and introspection, like it’s framing my thinking but, whilst this is not a problem when I do want background music to talk over and smoke a joint to, I’m not sure if I have the necessary attention span to sit and listen to this album in the same way I do a lot of music where, I don’t consume it, it consumes me. ‘V.D.K. Neck’ will certainly take the listener by the jugular though.

One thing this album has helped me decide is that I need to delve into Wiija records further and I need to keep delving into Terminal Cheesecake, I have barely scratched the surface of their early work and all I know is at this stage, I like Terminal Cheesecake and I want to hear more and there is more, lots of it. At this stage I feel like I’m chasing the band’s March Hare avatar through fucking wonderland and I still don’t know my arse from my ears, in many ways this album actually sounds like that, only it’s cohesive madness is filled with coherence and my wonder full of ignorance. In any case, it’s a satisfyingly bizarre listening experience.

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