This time Redgrass and Legion of Swine get reviewed - here are the words of Ben Rutledge
Redgrass – British Democracy and Other Myths (Ojud Records)
It took a few spins of ‘British Democracy...’ for me to half succumb to its charm and
I’m still very much bewildered. Redgrass, as the name may or may not suggest, is
a left-wing political Bluegrass group and another mutant offspring spawned by the
man behind Legion of Swine and Swinefest, Dave Procter. No surprise then that it’s
a fairly odd affair.
The musicianship leaves a lot to be desired, the singing is way off key and I’m not
really sure how long past the opening banjo line you can actually call it Bluegrass
before it descends into a-genred mindless chord bashing but there’s something
endearing about this little record. Maybe the half-baked music fumblings give it a
DIY edge or maybe behind the shoddy execution the song writing itself isn’t all that
bad - or maybe it’s the lyrics. The lyrics are one of my favourite parts of this record.
Whether it’s the affectionate ode to Leeds ‘Old Grey Men’ with its regurgitative
ramblings about class or the superbly out of place jovial but aggressive lines
in ‘Assassination’s Too Good’.
Available as name your price here http://redgrass.bandcamp.com/
Legion of Swine – They Took Democracy and they Threw it onto the Pyre with
the Rest of the Legion of Swine (Ojud Records)
Imagine the combined effects of sleep deprivation and sickness whilst nursing the
ensuing result of a heavily inebriated night. Now imagine sitting down, setting your
feet up on the coffee table and being greeted not by the sweet, lulling, rehabilitating
sounds of Enya’s voice, but by a cacophony of grating feedback. Imagination was
not my issue - which admittedly might affect the bias of this review. Although, I
sincerely doubt that in any better off state I would have found the varying pitches of
monotonous noise any more endearing.
‘They Took Democracy...’ is ostensibly a collection of field recordings and noise
experiments which range from: a person snoring (Track 3), a washing machine
(Track 5), and a personal highlight in Track 2 which sounds like someone’s
unintended voicemail message after hurling themselves onto the train tracks.
But maybe that was just my own suicidal fantasies induced by the interminable
racket invading my lug-holes. Legion of Swine was never going to be easy
listening and perhaps a groggy day on the sofa in my living room wasn’t the right
environment to find any potential in the layers of abstract sound. Maybe if it served
an accompaniment to a short film or an art installation it would make more sense but
as for now the album remains basking in its own esoteric obscurity.
More info at http://legionofswine.blogspot.co.uk/