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- A Brighter Shade Of Black by Hagar The Womb
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It’s Mississippi Records morning for me today, having just reviewed the marvellous ‘Laila Je T’Aime’ collection of guitar music from the Western Sahel, I now have something completely different from ‘80s post-punkers Hagar The Womb! Formed in the ladies’ toilets of London’s Wapping Autonomy Centre in 1981 by five girls who were sick of being marginalised by all the scene bros.
They recruited a couple of men to play second guitar and drums, though, and since the rest of them were learning their instruments as they went along there was a certain reluctance to take themselves seriously, although listening to these songs now you wouldn’t realise that they didn’t really know what they were doing. Their sound is very much reminiscent of certain other bands around the same era from both sides of the Atlantic such as Crass, Delta 5, Avengers, Social Climbers and the like - simple, melodic songs with noisy guitars and a Buzzcocks-esque cavalcade of casually memorable hooks.If you’re already familiar with the band, this album has both the 12”s they released and one song from the ‘Xntrix’ recordings...not that that means a lot to me since I wasn’t even born in 1981 and have never encountered any of these discs. This is great, though; charming, catchy, and just a little bit ramshackle. Certainly worthy of rediscovery.
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