Saturday, August 14, 2010
Sodom - Breaking Glass 7" (1985)
Zazie (vocals, piano)
Catalogue number: WT-705
Format: 7" single
Bitrate: 320 kbps
For those of you who enjoyed the singles by Sadie Sads and Nubile previously posted; here's yet another excursion into freakdom courtesy of the Wechselbalg Label.
Led by vocalist Zazie (here appearing as Zajie), Sodom had a long and prolific career during the eighties and early nineties; releasing a slew of records on heavy independent imprints such as Trans, Wechselbalg and Captain. Ever so chameleon-like, the bands output spanned the musical range from hardcore punk (their "S:t Requiem" cassette being one of Japanese hardcores holy grails) all the way through to electronica and house.
"Breaking Glass" was Sodoms second release and first single (I think the single-sided promotional flexi on Trans Records came out slightly later than this 7", but feel free to correct me on that) and saw the band moving away from their hardcore past into post-punk territory; like their labelmates (Auto-Mod and G-Schmitt excluded) seemingly quite smitten by The Birthday Party.
Indeed, the sluggish title track sounds like an institutionalized Birthday Party pumped full of sedatives (all with plenty of side effects). The main body of the song consists of a lumbering, borderline retarded "groove" cut up with harsh shards of guitar screech; at times erupting into blasts of concentrated anguish or shriveling down to whisks of ice-cold guitar vapors and barely audible drums. Zazies incredibly strange grunts and bellows plunges this track firmly into a black hole of gothic dementia.
I'd say the flipside "Test Pattern" is the one to include on your DJ setlist at your local sanatoriums annual ball though. Reminiscent of Nubiles "Tranceyse Diskow Veryall"; this is also a total post-punk freakout. You've got pummeling tom-toms, formless guitar melee, distorted dirging bass, sudden starts and stops and at times some coherent riffage. Don't miss out on the "cha-cha" sequence! Of course Zazies vocal performance (read: totally bizarre grunts and groans) is inevitably in the spotlight, being even more way out here than on "Breaking Glass".
By the way; where did all these Japanese goth bands get their inspiration from when it comes to the freaked out vocals? Virgin Prunes? The Pop Group? As for Sodom, considering their background, I guess it could be explained by a transmutation of the gruff vocals of various hardcore bands but who knows?
But I digress (and pretty boringly so) - suffice to say that this is another strange but great single from the Wechselbalg freak factory that I hope you'll enjoy. Rest assured more are on the way from this weird and wonderful imprint.
PS. As a sidenote, it seems that Sodom has been resurrected and are once again active on the Japanese indies scene. You can check out their website here: http://sodom.org.uk/
I, for one, am really looking forward to any new material that (hopefully) will be forthcoming!