Aquarian Blood – Last Nite In Paradise
With Valentine’s in the air, it’s a good time to remember that everybody’s weird. Don’t ever go looking for little miss/mister perfect; those guys don’t exist and, if they did, would you truly want to find one? Just try to find a weirdo with whom your own weird can get along harmoniously and happily. Cue then Memphis crew Aquarian Blood, who are led by oddball husband-and-wife team JB Horrell (Ex-Cult) and Laurel Ferdon (Nots). Fans of the band’s releases to date will already know what to expect for Last Nite In Paradise – their debut proper after a couple of super-limited tapes on ZAP – is one again packed full of minute-to-three-minute, lo-fi synth-punk blasters on the themes of “cults, the paranormal, and other obscurities.”
Sassy art-punk, smash-and-grab spazzcore, proto post-punk – call Last Nite In Paradise what you will, but – its angles made of thrusting hips and cheek bones – whichever way you look at it, it’s a tactile listen. Miserable yet playful and often full-frontal trashy, marauding guitar parts deliver sci-fi nihilism, tinny drum programmes and synth alarms all dressed in Ferdon’s rrriotously shouty rhythms, occasionally delivered so fast as to be rendered near chipmunk-esque. Manic effects are daubed onto the tableau seemingly in place of musical proficiency in places. Squeals of guitar fly out of the giddy racket like sparks from a Catherine wheel one minute, shards of broken glass headed straight to sever the arteries the next.
Like glitter caught in the cracks of the pavement, other delights abound in the busy mix too, a cascade of garage-punk and southern licks on “I’m Lit”, a creeping palette of synthesised strings and chilly raga FX on “Won’t Forget To Die”. There’s also a sweat-lodge bout of mysticism and percussive rattles in the form of “Blood Chant”, so too a round of droning free-jazz via “Horns”. On “Parasite Inside” – a song that seems like collective works of Le Tigre spinning way too fast – Horrell even makes a rare vocal appearance … and there’s still time for curious LP highlight “Skin Suit “Mother’s Clothes””, a minimal darkwave punker in the dirgey ballpark of Blank Dogs. Culminating finally in all that came before it and the album’s longest track at 3.5 minutes, the all-too-prescient “Asshole In The Castle” closes proceedings, a punk record by way of an outer-rings interpreter – proof if it were ever needed that two types of strange don’t make a straightforward.
Best track: “Skin Suit “Mother’s Clothes””
~Last Nite In Paradise is released February 24th 2017 via Goner.~