A reissue of the debut album of Disco Inferno is something to be celebrated: Disco Inferno remain one of the most original and impressive post-rock bands to have ever been active. In Debt introduces their mixture of radical sampling processes and smart songcraft. These CD and 2LP reissues on Rocket Girl come with a bonus track, new artwork, and Neil Kulkarni sleevenotes.
3 reviews. Add your own review.
Ok this isn't going to be a fair review. Reviewing this album is somewhat like reviewing my own mother - it's been so familiar from such a young age that there's no way I'm going to be impartial. If you only know Disco Inferno from their later innovative sample based pop then wipe your slate clean and let's start again. Initially they were a doomy three piece with the biggest Joy Division obsession known to man. 'In Debt' was a collection of their first album 'Open Doors, Closed Windows' with early 7"s and 12"s added in.
Where do I start? Their spindly nascent sound is thrilling. At this juncture Disco Inferno were more about creating atmospheres than songs as such but I remember hearing 'Arc in Round' for the first time and just knowing that this was for me, the descending looped Durutti Column guitar trails, the Peter Hook bass, the buried vocals, words almost inaudible - just snatches of dialogue appearing out of the ether making you wonder what on earth they were singing about but knowing whatever it was it was dead serious.
'In Debt' has long been my favourite driving record. It has the sort of wide open atmospheres that just sound terrific when soundtracking the curves and contours of West Yorkshire's road network... especially late at night...especially when it's raining. Many tracks have pulsing percussion which gives the songs a tremendous energy. 'Freethought' especially bounds along on a sea of Stephen Morris style drum patterns and increasingly frenetic guitar whilst 'Waking Up' is delightfully pretty though in hindsight probably too close to Joy Division's 'Atmosphere' to be truly unique. In interests of fairness they don't always hit the mark - there is the odd failed experiment amongst these 17 tracks but the majority of this still holds up superbly particularly the taut atmospheres of the so-Joy-Division-it-hurts closer 'No Edge, No End'.
An album that after 20+ years of listening to it still resonates with me and gives me the same feeling it did on release. I could never understand why the band all but disowned it at the time but ignore them, this is special.
8/10 fmackay Customer review, 9th May 2017
Why didn't I buy this 25 years ago? Because I was 17 and buying what the NME told me to, I suppose. But this is a superb record. I'm posting this really because I'm worried you might get the wrong impression from Clinton's use of words like "doomy" and "Joy Division" in his review - this is definitely a "moody" record but on the whole the mood is "up". I was only familiar with later material (5 eps/DI go pop) but this clearly has the DI sound/feel despite lack of electronic elements. -1 for lack of a download code, and -1 for those horrible stick-to-the-record printed inners - I am convinced these things wreck vinyl, please can everybody just use poly-lined inners. To reiterate - this is a superb record, do not miss out. Now for a comprehensive DI reissue programme...
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