Earth, Godflesh and a mint skirmish


After all the live action and new discoveries from Audioscope, here’s a swift round-up of some new-ish listening from a couple of genre heavyweights.

When you find that Justin Broadrick and BC Green have revived Godflesh after more than 10 years apart and finally got some tunes to gift to the world, all you really wanna know is whether these morsels of new ‘flesh – a pre-album EP – are true to the big G’s legacy.

And, of course, they are. Decline & Fall is as Godflesh as you’d dare hope: four tracks of mechanised yet human heavy-industry beats, deep-stained by social decay, dereliction and absence – at least, that’s what comes to my mind (the true heirs to Sabbath?). Playing with Fire is an especially hope-less highlight in an EP that’s reassuringly stark and Godflesh pure, and all bodes well for A World Lit Only By Fire (in my tape deck – yep, cassette it is, why the bloody hell not? – awaiting a grim grey day for a first play).

Dylan Carlson’s posse seem to switch modes with almost every Earth record these days and they’ve done it again on Primitive and Deadly. Cello is out, big rock action is in, and it’s a beaut. Reviews have made reference to Pentastar: In the Style of Demons, and you can see why, but this record is way bigger. While Pentastar came out only three years after the radically insular Earth 2, Primitive comes off the back of all that AND Earth mk II – Hex, Bees, geophysical Americana, wilderness spirit, Angels I and II, drcarlsonalbion – and the five tracks swell to bursting with full-bodied rings, elemental drones and life-affirming amplification. Makes you feel good to be alive.

Right then. Who’s heard of Franklin Mint?

No, me neither, but a track of theirs (Emperor of Everything) got aired on 6 Music’s Freakzone the other week and I swear it coulda been fired out of the 90s on an Alternative Tentacle. Less hyper-maniacal than Nomeansno but channelling some of that restless post-hardcore prog-ness, these Bristol Misters impressed and could well be a name to check.

No such anonymity for David Bowie and the music world is a better place with him back in it. Bowie’s resurgence continues with new track Sue (or In a Season of Crime) – seven minutes of wired skittery jazz being chased down the lost highway to his boldest-sounding stuff since Outside and Earthling … and that is very much a Good Thing. More please, Mr Jones.

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