Sunday, January 30, 2011

BODYSNATCHERS Frantic/Mystery- 540 Record Reissue

BODYSNATCHERS Frantic/Mystery- 540 Records - 540 019- 7"

The volatile music streaming out of the underground scenes of Britain and the US in the late seventies presented a lot of possibilities to young burgeoning musicians. Along with the sonic assault anthems of The Sex Pistols and The Ramones, there were variants of these themes in the other worldly works of bands like Wire, The Fall and their ilk This was strange and intense noise that had never been created before, but did have some reference to previous purveyors of ‘art-rock’ like The Velvet Underground etc. It was as if a new language was being spoken made up from many other dialects. Brisbane band from the time,The Bodysnatchers, heard a kindred spirit. This is a re-issue of their one and only single on Savage Music.

Formed in early 1978 and lead by Rod McLeod on guitar, drum machine and vocals (with his brother Gavin McLeod on bass and school friend John Hunter on drums) the band were a short lived studio based outfit. Rod and Gavin were card carrying members of two other local punk outfits The Young Identities and Just Urbain. When the opportunity arose for a cheap and nasty recording session, the 3 piece decided to fill in the last remaining time slot by cramming in 2 short sharp songs that didn’t quite fit in with the sounds arising from the rest of the Brisbane music scene. Drawing on the likes of the Gang of Four, A side ‘Frantic’ was a re-write of a Just Urbain song while its flipside ‘Mystery’ is a sped up/hacked up cover of the Velvets ‘Venus in Furs’. The record has a jarring sound with the vocals more whispered than yelped, while the vintage drum machine drone adds an additional spectral quality. Above and beyond that, it still has the trademark bass heavy, non production values much loved by the rest of the Savage Music family. Released as a 300 limited edition with photo copied cover in 1979, its sound stands as the odd, stumbling step-kid of the label and the band was never to be seen or heard of again. Frantic mystery indeed!

No comments: