A total rarity for over 35 years, even many Arthur Russell fans don't know about his involvement in this post punk band. He not only plays keyboard, cello and but contributed half the songs and sung in his unique style. This is taut and muscular new wave though Russell's contributions sit weirdly at odds with the breezily melodic pop on offer.
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All anyone will tell you about ‘Event Horizon’ and them Necessaries who made it is that Arthur Russell was involved. He played keys, he contributed songs, he brought out the cello. Why say anything else, really, when you can say that Arthur was in a punk band. Possibly the final piece of his genre-fluid puzzle, he certainly makes this record an appealing proposition. Within, though, is a gem of its own, a shambling, free-flowing post-punk record with hooks plentiful and rhythms driving.
Over two years the Necessaries released as many albums; this, their second, is full of conviction, building on the gains of ‘Big Sky’ with lovely, compact songs high on the sheen of power-pop and the more caffeinated side of post-punk, where the riffs are sickly-sweet rather than downward spiralling. Their setup was attuned to Russell’s lopsided approach to music-making, with Peter Zummo featuring on trombone and Ed Tomney offering beams of synth -- the record becoming brighter and ever-so-slightly weirder than its influences. Identifying a lil’ bit of their song as catchy, the Necessaries would loop through it a few times, letting instrumentation filter through what sounds like a closed system.
This inventive, danceable band did it all with a bounce in their step, racing through their terse, wiry sound and letting an unexpected field of instrumentation take the fore. The chords may jangle and swirl like post-punk, but the occasional horn boom or twee synth bit makes this record a lovely sugar-hit; the Necessaries loved to disregard the brooding vocals of lead Ed Tomney for joint harmonies and lead switch-ups, making this record a minor rollercoaster of different pop ideas. That Arthur Russell was on. Does that do it for ya?
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