Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Section 25 - Always Now

Section 25, "Dirty Disco" (YSI link)

Section 25, "Be Brave"
(YSI link)

Section 25, "Haunted" (YSI link)

Section 25, "Girls Don't Count" (YSI link)

It's funny, as I wasn't really listening much to this Factory stuff when I decided to do some posts on it after Tony Wilson passed away. But, I've quickly remebered how great this music was, how it sits in the interstices of so many musics that we talk about her, like electro, acid house, indie rock, robot rock, etc. One of the bands I hadn't listened to in awhile was Section 25 and that was a big mistake.

Section 25 is another of those overshadowed bands that came out on Factory Records in the 80s, lost in the New Order/Joy Division din. This band is in a similar vein, one definitely hears the desiccated post-punk sounds of JD here. Hell, the band's first LP was produced by Ian Curtis and Joy Division producer Martin Hannett. But, you shouldn't forget that this band was making music as early as 1978, right about the same time that Ian Curtis and crew came together.

Here's some selections from their first LP, Always Now, and a few extras that are a part of the reissue by the label Les Temps Modernes. The first two of the from the original release, the second two are extras for the reissue. It's brilliant stuff, imo. Originally released in 1981, this album was produced by Martin Hannett and recorded at Pink Floyd's Brittania Row studio. This is some of the coldest, darkest, most haunting music ever made; it sounds like the voices and instruments are coming from the afterlife, here to haunt us with their frightening vision. The drums are heavy and mechanical, vocalist and bassist Larry Cassidy sings with a mixture of complete dispassion and buried anger. It's probably not a good sign that I find this music so moving and real and I'd kindly ask that my therapist and ex-girlfriends remain silent here; for me, the group has this cold, dead sound and lyrics that can't quite stay that way. The album ends on a song called "New Horizons," which sings of jkust that. The music is typically moody, slowly and deliberately paced, featuring active pounding drums, creepy guitar effects and bass. But, one can't help but feel a sense of trying, a desire to break out of this mindset and that, in the end, is the greatest part of the album. That bleakness, coupled with a searching, a slight hope, that would come to fruition with the next album. Another example is the amazing "Girls Don't Count" (and no I don't just like it for the title). Cassidy sings a list of things that don't count; underneath, however, a massive, almost-grooving song develops over the four minutes. As Cassidy sings, "None of it counts" over and over for the minute, you just aren't sold. Oh mang, people, this is so good! Yeah!

I highly, highly recommended picking up their reissued debut album. It includes the original 10-track LP along with 9 bonus tracks of hard-to-find early singles. I know that this music isn't for everyone, but I hope that people will give it a chance and see if there's something there for you. We're gonna have a little more on these guys this week, so stay tuned.

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