Like Jon Spencer, Ian Svenonius is one of the hardest working men in contemporary rock 'n' roll. Over the years he's amassed an awesome discography with The Nation Of Ulysses The Make-Up, Chain & the Gang, XYZ, Weird War etc. but hasn't stepped out on his own. Until Now. Here he is, but naked and armed with a guitar, drum box and cassette player.
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Having exhausted everything he could possibly do in his myriad bands, including the Make-Up, Chain & the Gang and XYZ, Ian Svenonius has signed his soul away with his very own solo album. Don’t lie: we’ve all thought about doing it, and we should all be so lucky to get to make our own ‘Introduction to Escape-Ism’. As if resigned to solo musician hell, Svenonius has made an ominous and nauseating record of economy class punx, using drum boxes, tape players and what sounds like a beat-up guitar for a record of drunken rhythms and slurred riffs. Underpinning it all is his vocal, a purposely out of breath, snarling and sniffling monstrosity just outta time for halloween.
You could say it had something of the motorik of old, but this record’s sparseness and claustrophobic production makes it sound like you’re just on the other end of a room with Svenonius listening to him panic. Using budget bricker-brack, like the throbbing bass and percussive slaps of “Lonely at the Top”, he reflects with vocal distress, offering fast-paced fearmongering in place of rock music. “Iron Curtain” sees him layer guitar motifs into another suffocating one-man post-punk tune, letting the tension build but never bowl us over.
It all sounds like one long session thinking up songs on the fly: the machines direct Svenonius in a very specific direction and he comes up with nine songs of snarled poetics and breathless mantras. The music -- cold and careless, but running rigidly in place -- makes it that extra bit freaky.
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