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Album Review

39 Clocks – “Subnarcotic” – [Luxury Products]

Thurston Hunger   8/23/2015   12-inch, A Library

Killer 1982 desolate rock out of Germany, two guys Christian
Henjes and Jurgen Gleue at the dark, bleak core but with
mellotron, damp drump machines, some drunk chamber musicians
(on “Rainy Night Insanities”) and melodica and just a great
overall vibe. They out-Lou Reed on parts…that deadpan
delivery, and they even drop a “Louie Louie” psych bomb
in the mix. We have that on a Louie collection and many
other tracks on the De Stijl CD reissue, but this is vinyl
and just tremendous. Call it proto-punk, although it
came after the official break, it has a deeper rancxd
garage depth to it. On “Dom” they strike a minimal wave
pose and guitars slash on through, as the lyrics keep
pushing things to an edge. Kind of hypno ragna vibe
to the songs, repetition is no stranger to Louie fans
but this offers so much more. And even in the songs about
rot and insanities, they often find a kind pep, maybe
craziness a la Clockwork Orange-flavored Tang? Check out
the “Virtuous Girl” (with its mellotron swirls, and
happy to be hated by said V. Girl). This is one sharp
black leather jacket of a record…wear it out folks!
-Thurston Hunger
PS Jurgen evidently connects to the recent Cocoon reish
we had as well, but this towers over that.

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