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- Barbed Wire Explosion In The Kingdom Of Atlantis by Richard Youngs
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When you put the needle on a Richard Youngs record you really have no idea what you are going to get.
I half expected to be attacked by a nest of vipers, or slathered in salad cream, such is the element of surprise. For a man who, with ‘Sapphie’, made one of the most glorious albums of all time, and who possesses a voice of extraordinary longing, he doesn’t half churn out some sludge.
It's that voice, though, which saves this record from being close to unlistenable. Youngs chooses to veer into a thrash metal direction on this his 38th album. The musical backing is drum and guitar thrash with terminally impossible guitar solos slathered on top, the tracks generally of 1 and 2 minute length. Each song is only vaguely different from the last and yet....and yet.......the vocals on top are superb, they repeat phrases in the most subtle of ways that you almost....almost forget the tuneless racket going on underneath.
It's a clever approach which sort of works and keeps you listening to the end. ‘Fast Emotions to Go’ particularly has a great descending melody, the folk-inflected voice so at odds with the music that its almost laughable. Its basically Napalm Death with Ian Anderson on vocals: an astonishing mix of unrelated sounds, but when he hits certain notes with the voice it has an enthralling effect on the listener.
You can’t accuse Youngs of being boring. Infuriating, yes but who else would make a record like this?
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