Here’s a pretty obscure LP from the Netherlands. It’s a self-released and self-produced record from a band called Basic Scream. It’s a bit surprising that this is so unknown, since it really is the type of record that goth and deathrock fans (myself included) would enjoy. It combines noisy Swans-ish guitars with deranged Lydia Lunch-style vocals. The band used guitars that almost sound like basses, and in turn their bass guitars are so low they sound like the ominous rumblings of angry monsters. The low-end-focused sound of the music lends a heaviness to the songs that perfectly couples with the creeped-out vocals and lyrics.
There are certainly some weak points on the album. Some of the songs sound a bit too similar to each other. And although the lyrics are certainly written with an avant garde poetic approach, they can tend to be goth-for-the-sake-of-goth. The song “Springtime” starts out with a plaintive wail that exclaims “Springtime / the season of decay”, and the song “Hunt” fades out with her chanting “Life is a place / that’s forbidden to live”, while the song “An Insane Queen” is entirely about the psychotic musings of its titular subject.
Still, I cannot fault the record too much. As a whole, it works very well. Standout songs like “Hunt”, with its machine-gun tribal drumming and washes and stabs of guitars, and “An Insane Queen”, with its absolutely delirious ambiance as the song builds into a tsunami of guitar effects and pure cacophony, certainly keep the album fresh. All of the songs flow from one to the next perfectly. The music will deviate from simple, repetitive guitar lines to full-on deathrock in the space of a minute, and that variety ensures that the album is listenable throughout its duration.
Basic Scream – Tales of Intoxication LP
1986, Basic Records
A1 A Dance Of Fire
A2 On The Edge II
A4 Sixty-Seven Men And Women
A5 An Insane Queen
B1 The Shadow Of Man
B3 The Hunt