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Black Tape For A Blue Girl
The Scavenger Bride

For the first time, I can call something Kafka-esque without sounding pretentious. And while we’re at it, it’s Bohemian to boot. Sam Rosenthal has woven much of this work with Kafka’s dark ironies. Even so far as to adapt the bounced Czech’s words into the lyrics. Don’t go running off for the simpler taste of the Cro-Mags just yet. The Scavenger Bride doesn’t require a degree in letters, or any understanding of existentialism to appreciate. The rich orchestration tracks an inspiring theme as ambitious as Crime & The City Solution. Pursue it as deeply as you care to, even if just for some good sleepytime tuneage. The same goes for your sonic commitment. Use as background while drinking international coffee with your bridge club. Or crank it during that luxurious bubble bath and let it encompass every part of your essence as the wine spills from your wrist-mouths.

The minimalist title track consists of little more than distant chords stretched to quarter-mile notes layer upon layer. Something of an opening credit sedative from the turtle monks of the Dark Crystal. In "Kinski," chanteuse Elysabeth Grant professes her devotion Klaus poetically, You who are perfection made flesh, your light is so intense, so bright. It does not blind me, but rather bathes me in a sensual warmth. That's quite a dreamy tribute to the Polish equivalent of Rutger Hauer. Lofty flute overseers the tickled dulcimer as the run-on sentences pile on flattery. The first sign of percussion comes in "All My Loves." Light bongos and shakers pepper the renaissance campfire of a tune. Sing-song vocals add to the hypnotic mandolin and rubbery bass. The whispered confession of Sonic Youth’s "Shadow Of A Doubt" spills into a pleading nightmare. Piano clanks through the fray, which sounds a bit like Swing Out Sister. The simple keyboard on "The Doorkeeper" is so familiar and welcome, that it’s almost a shame when the cello steps out. The matronly vocals bring the angelic to earth. Songs like this and "Floats In Updrafts" end far too soon, giving just a glimpse before disappearing. "A Livery Of Bachelors" has a more present beat, with tinkling sparkles floating above. Spahn Ranch’s Athan Maroulis delivers the melodrama on this one like a sadder, more serious Marc Almond. The Gelfling cello reappears for, "Das Lislottenbett." The gorgeous, swelling fluted instrumental virtually begs for a soundtrack deal. Where's Wim Wenders when you need him?

Hearing Brett Helm croak out the Murphy-esque "The Lie Which Refuses To Die" has me scrambling to find work by his band Aura. Not only is the voice beautifully gravelly, the lyrics are amusingly pedestrian: I’m the stain that won’t come out, the toilet backed up, the ticket on their car, the overdue bills. This sort of underplayed demon is very refreshing. Attrition’s Martin Bowe narrates "The Scavenger’s Daughter." The graphic description of a torture device is then granted release in Grant’s sweet lilt. Plaintive strings allow distance from the horror and don’t look back until escape is certain. With its eastern feel and near didgeridoo waves, "Like A Dog" flows into "Letters To Brod." Helm delivers a pipe-stretching message to the friend who betrayed Franz’ wishes by publishing his work. The lush Pink Dots package is a genital rumbling, sinister one. The lingering echoed keyboards give you plenty of time to think about it, where you’re going. "The Whipper" offers attractively disturbing images in the pristine confusion. As well as confirming that chicks dig the bad boys. The whipper was proud and stood over two men I once loved. Takemetakeme… Grant presents all the Jarboe theatrics without the turning into Satan bit. Her duet with the piano on "Bastille Day" ends out like b-side Felt. (The good side.) The sort of song you never hear the end of because you’ve been in after-sex R.E.M. for 20 minutes.

On a scale of compatible bands inserted into movies: one being This Mortal Kombat, and ten being Sex In The City Solution, The Scavenger Bride comes in at nine – Dead Can Wear Plaid.

— Ewan Wadharmi

  1. The Scavenger Bride
  2. Kinski
  3. All My Lovers
  4. Shadow Of A Doubt
  5. The Doorkeeper
  6. Floats In The Updrafts
  7. A Livery Of Bachelors
  8. Das Liselottenbett
  9. The Lie Which Refuses To Die
  10. The Scavenger's Daughter
  11. Like A Dog/Letter To Brod
  12. The Whipper
  13. Bastille Day, 1961

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