Articles by Si Forster
Nastie Band certainly live up to their Art-Doom epithet by easily managing to be both, usually at the same time.
It is certainly not a jazz record, but in taking those sensibilities, rhythms, instrumentation and execution it’s perhaps forgivable to say that it might be – or at least might have been at some point.
Pretty much everyone who will buy into Bananas will feel an understanding and a kinship in here, thanks to an overarching warmth and a welcoming space in which to empathise, clap along to, or just sing along with the sweary bits.
Things that felt closer, stronger and warmer in Summer now feel distant, fragile and colder. But there is also more time and different stars in the sky to bring about contemplation instead of urgency, calm instead of passion and a whole different sort of beauty and joy to be found wherever you look. This is all displayed perfectly within this record.
Most of this will mean little to most people, and possibly nothing to some depending on age and geographical status. I don’t care, and everyone else who listens to this and is instantly transported back to a childhood that didn’t completely exist won’t care what you think either.
A heady mix of mindfulness, memory and drama and the end result is a record which, once absorbed and contemplated, demands to be simply heard and enjoyed.
In the world we have, it’s more than enough that they are still here, both in form and in memory, waiting all the time to be embraced by those who know and lying in wait for the next person to discover them.
There is no doubt that it will stand any test that time decides to throw at it because it already sounds older than it could ever be.
It makes perfect sense to fans such as myself – and handily, people like Cody Carpenter and Mark Day who have the means and the talent do something about it – to keep the nerd flame burning.
Of course there’s a foot in decades past, however the other one’s way ahead of us leaving us to sit here in the middle enjoying their work.
As with before, Dead Cross will either fill or clear rooms depending on whose house you happen to pop this on. That’s the whole fun of it.
It’s right that – once again – a quintessentially album-based band has an (almost) entire album covered in one go. It feels right that the ideas explored in a fairly challenging album are picked apart and reworked. And yes, it even feels right that it’s sometimes a bit fiddly to initially get to grips with.
Sometimes we look for the poetic and romantic side of horror as it appeals to our taste for the gothic and nostalgic. Sometimes though, all we want to see is Alice Cooper stabbing someone to death with a bicycle. Welcome to John Carpenter country.
It seems that every score that Clint Mansell puts his name on and heart into is labelled as a masterpiece. He has set his own bar incredibly and beautifully high with Loving Vincent.
The result is not unlike the second half of New Order’s Substance compilation where their journey from Joy Division’s grieving to True Faith’s celebration is cheerfully tinkered with.
It fills in little gaps of his musical history while creating more unanswered questions, and this is weirdly more satisfying than having the whole story parked in front of us.
The imagery that they put across of the colonial settling of Australia, had they put all of this into words in the time the music occupies, would have possibly seen them hanged for sedition for portraying a new life in the colonies in as bleak and visceral a light as possible.
The whole thing taken in one go can feel like someone’s connected Robin Hardy’s Wicker Man to the National Grid without first asking permission.
They are both markedly different to each other thanks to their instrumentation and subject matter, but even the two themes of science and religion don’t keep White Sands Harbour, 1984 and Synaxis far apart in the universe that Ellis Cage has created.
Sing the Night in Sorrow lifts spirits, adds shade to memories and is just such a bloody hoot to listen to.
The band have picked up all the best bits from everything they love from the scene (and others), turned it inside out, added new stuff and then forced it upon us as hard as they could. There are absolutely no complaints from me about that.