Work - Slow Crimes (2006 remaster) (Mega Blowout Sale)

SKU Ad Hoc 15
When Henry Cow fell apart in the summer of 1978, the main players in the band dispersed. Fred Frith left England to settle in NYC for a good number of years, getting involved the then just beginning to evolve 'downtown' sound, recording three excellent and high-profile albums for Ralph Records, forming first Massacre and then Skeleton Crew. Chris Cutler formed the Art Bears and also was an important member of Cassiber. Lindsay Cooper and Georgie Born did a lot of musical improvising and John Greaves had already begun his solo career. So, a lot of great projects from all of these musicians.
But for me, possibly the best, most unexpected and most radical of all the immediate offshoots of Henry Cow was Tim Hodginson's band The Work. Abandoning keyboards and teaching himself to play 'flat guitar' (Hawaiian-style guitar played flat on the lap with a slide) and still playing reeds, but also adding vocals for the first time, the legend at the time about the band was that he found 3 non-musicians and taught them how to play from scratch, ala the Magic Band (also a not-true legend). While this is apparently not the case, the music was so amazing and mostly so idiosyncratic that it was easy to believe this 'urban myth'.
This was their amazing first album, from 1981 and even if they had nothing other than this, this would STILL be a legendary release. Note: I love this band and I love this album, but it isn't an easy listen, especially if you want vocals that sound 'nice'. Highly recommended anyway!

"...this music, along with that of compatriots This Heat and Unrest Work & Play, set the stage for a unique type of new British Invasion; one that seemed to absorb the complexity of Progressive Rock, whilst throwing its aesthetics to the dogs, in lieu of the energy and power of early Punk. The Work were amongst the first few to purposefully break their own mold in an attempt to break new ground, concomitantly creating music that seems more comfortable resting on a bed of nails than precious laurels. Early history: After the demise of Henry Cow, keyboardist & windplayer Tim Hodgkinson began tape experiments with guitarist Bill Gilonis. This led to the duo’s first record, “I Do I Do I Don’t I Don’t” on their newly formed Woof label. After enlisting the talents of bassist Mick Hobbs and drummer Rick Wilson, the new band was dubbed “The Work”, and released a 3-song, 7” record on Woof entitled, “I Hate America”. The brutal tone and sonic approach of that first recording held over into the Slow Crimes sessions, recorded the next year. The drums are primal, and hold the entire band together in a polyrhythmic way that was, at the time, unheard-of in punk music. The vocals are offered unapologetically, sometimes in semi-screams of anguish and insolence. The guitars & bass chug along, daring the listener to tap their foot in time to regain one’s bearings. Over it all is the collective penchant to add experimental noise, to further a state of shock. The group worked tirelessly within these guidelines on the road for 2 years before disbanding, only to reform some seven years later, releasing two additional and equally excellent albums."
  • LabelAd Hoc
  • UPC187914001641
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