CDP 7 98780 2 Sacred City
Produced by Barry Andrews and Ian Caple
Released on September 14, 1992
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
CDP 7 98780 2 cover
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S hriek back from the dead! Sacred City sounded like Matt Johnston in Ministry; profane text was preached in a conspiratorial whisper against percolating sounds, intoxicating rhythms, and the city was painted as a dark temple of painful delights. Real horrorshow, the whole of it, and scary smart. If this isn’t the summit of Shriekback we’re standing at, I’ve got some interesting climbing to look forward to. Personally, I never bought into the idea of Barry Andrews as a visionary so much as a vampiric kook. Sacred City turned my thinking around. He still can’t sing, but he doesn’t need to, just seduce you out of your skin with his mesmerizing patter. The electronic backdrop is amazing, and a pair of instrumentals (“Below,” “3 AM”) evoke an industrial-strength Eno. That’s a long way from the clownish cacophony of XTC’s early records (maybe not so much Go+, but I promised myself not to talk about that fiasco again). Sacred City is too sly, too slinky, too sleepy to be called industrial. What you have in Andrews and Dave Allen are experienced agitators who recognize that dropping a well-placed wrench in the great works is just as destructive as dynamite. They peel back the skin of our shallow reality and disassemble the complex machine underneath. Words are symbols (“Signs”), reality is an incongruous collection of objects (“Psycho Drift”), religion is man-made (“Hymn to the Local Gods,” “Beatles Zebra Crossing”), production is the endgame (“Every Force Evolves A Form”). Deep, dark, unsettling stuff, and I haven’t even touched upon the worst of it (“The Bastard Sons of Enoch,” “Exquisite Corpse,” “(Open Up Your) Filthy Heart (To Me).” Sadly, the sinister, shamanistic Sacred City turned out to be a Sodom on the output of civilization (or at least in the world of Shriekback), surrounded by a dry and dusty disinterest until the dawn of the next decade.

TRACK LISTING

  1. SIGNS
  2. PSYCHO DRIFT
  3. THE BASTARD SONS OF ENOCH
  4. (OPEN YOU YOUR) FILTHY HEART (TO ME)
  5. EXQUISITE CORPSE
  6. BELOW
  7. BEATLES ZEBRA CROSSING
  8. HYMN TO THE LOCAL GODS
  9. EVERY FORCE EVOLVES A FORM
  10. 3 AM

    All titles composed from Shriekback

CREDITS

DAVE ALLEN --
BARRY ANDREWS --
MARTYN BARKER --
Lu Edmonds -- guitar (1)
Kat Evans -- violin (9)
Karl Hyde -- guitar
John Kline -- guitar
Wendy & Sarah Partridge -- backing vocals
Mark Raudva -- didgeridoo and percussion
Ian Caple -- engineer

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REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US September 14, 1992 World Domination CD CDP 7 98780  

 

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