Tuesday, 16 November 2010

****The Spoils Of War -The Spoils of War II -US 67-68- Outakes and live material WELL WORTH HEARING!!****

"This is a truly superb album that was way, way ahead of it's time. The recordings herein date from '67 - '68, yet there are samples, scratching and all sorts of computer-generated weirdness. The emphasis is on psychedelic (how could it not be?) but there's much more besides: folk, country, pop, a dash of blues, and of course, plenty of jazz. The lyrics are unusual, thought-provoking, sometimes cheeky, competently written (no "oh baby"s here) and fit very well with the experimental ethos of the whole Spoils of War project. With such an eclectic mix it would be easy for the album to descend into a collection of interesting but unconnected clips. II runs this risk doubly because it is, despite its title, not really Spoils of War's second album but is rather a compilation of outtakes and live material. However, the sheer level of musical competence and sensitivity of arrangement and compilation keep the whole thing together. There are a number of wonderfully catchy tunes, some pleasantly odd Beefheart/early Beck moments, great eastern-style guitar work and some beautiful singing from Annie Hat. There're less computer-generated squeaks, wobbles and booms than on the previous, self-titled album; that is until you get to the live material at the end, wherein they threaten to (but never do) overwhelm the music. These final five tracks give a good feel of the atmosphere of a late 60s freak out, or "happening". Great stuff! And it's surprising to hear how different yet recognisable songs from the first album are when played live. But for home listening the studio recordings are more apt and therein lies the strength of II. Overall, the album is surprisingly well-rounded and addictively listenable. It makes a worthy successor to Spoils of War's classic, ground-breaking first album. If you're a fan of psychedelic and/or experimental music, or are interested in the roots of electronic music, and haven't got Spoils of War's first album, get it now... then get this one.""

Track Listings
1. Big Sugar Plantations
2. Dear Belgium Boy
3. In Again Out Again
4. Frosted Windows
5. Lightning Snakes
6. Poughkeepsie Blues
7. Missed Opportunity
8. Bomb Song
9. Morning Be Merciful
10. Completely
11. Violets
12. Rubab To Bed
13. Big City Frank's Drum Solo
14. Vladivostock
15. You'll Never Know
16. Our Secret Place
17. Neckbrace