Jun 6, 2018

RhoDeo 1822 Aetix


Today's artists were one of the darkest and most challenging post-punk groups to emerge in the early '80s, creating bleak and noisy soundscapes that provided the perfect setting for vocalist Nick Cave's difficult, disturbing stories of religion, violence, and perversity. Under the direction of Cave and guitarist Rowland S. Howard, the band tore through reams of blues and rockabilly licks, spitting out hellacious feedback and noise at an unrelenting pace. As the Birthday Party's career progressed, Cave's vision got darker and the band's songs alternated between dirges to blistering sonic assaults. ..............N'Joy

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The nucleus of the band first met at the private boys school Caulfield Grammar School, in suburban Melbourne, in the early seventies. A rock group was formed in 1973, with Nick Cave (vocals), Mick Harvey (guitar), and Phill Calvert (drums), with other students John Cocivera, Brett Purcell and Chris Coyne (on guitar, bass and saxophone respectively). Most were also members of the school choir. The band played under various names at parties and school functions with a mixed repertoire of David Bowie, Lou Reed, Roxy Music, Alice Cooper and the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, among others.

After their final school year in 1975 the band decided to continue as a four-piece group, with friend Tracy Pew picking up the bass. Greatly affected by the punk explosion of 1976 which saw Australian bands The Saints and Radio Birdman making their first recordings and tours, The Boys Next Door, as they were now called, began performing punk and proto-punk cover versions, such as "Blitzkrieg Bop" and "Gloria", and a few original songs. By November 1977 their set was dominated by fast original new wave material, such as "Sex Crimes" and "Masturbation Generation".

The Boys' second guitarist, Rowland S. Howard, joined in 1978, and about this time, the group's sound changed dramatically. The addition of Howard's guitar was certainly a catalyst (his later use of audio feedback being a hallmark of the group) but there were other changes, as well: their sound drew upon punk, rockabilly, free jazz and the rawest blues, but defied concise categorization. Many songs were driven by prominent, repetitive basslines and frenetic, yet minimalist, drumming. Though the band was tightly rehearsed, the instrumentalists often sounded as if they were on the verge of collapse, this quality only emphasising the newfound mania of Cave's singing, and his expressionist lyrics. In producer/engineer Tony Cohen they found a willing accomplice to their experimentation and their refusal to repeat themselves; and in manager Keith Glass they found an enthusiastic financial backer. Glass' label Missing Link Records released all of the early Birthday Party records.
Name change and relocations (1978–1982)

The Boys Next Door's best known song, "Shivers", written by Howard, and first performed and recorded by his band The Young Charlatans, was banned by radio stations because of a reference to suicide. After recordings and moderate success in Australia (including hundreds of live shows) they headed for London in 1980, changed their name to The Birthday Party and launched into a period of innovative and aggressive music-making. Some sources say the band took its new name from the Harold Pinter play The Birthday Party; others (including Ian Johnston's Cave biography) state it was prompted by Cave misremembering, or intentionally misattributing, the name to a non-existent birthday party scene in the Dostoyevsky novel Crime and Punishment. In a 2008 interview, Rowland S. Howard gave his own recollection: "The name The Birthday Party came up in conversation between Nick and myself. There's this apocryphal story about it coming from a Dostoyevsky novel. It may have had various connotations, but what he and I spoke about was a sense of celebration and making things into more an occasion and ritual". They resided in London, with trips back to Australia and tours through Europe and the U.S. before relocating to West Berlin in 1982.

Above the barely-controlled racket, Cave's vocals ranged from desperate to simply menacing and demented. Critics have written that "neither John Cale nor Alfred Hitchcock was ever this scary," and that Cave "doesn't so much sing his vocals as expel them from his gut". Though Cave drew on earlier rock and roll shriekers—especially Iggy Pop and Suicide's Alan Vega—his singing with the Birthday Party remains powerful and distinct. His lyrics also drew on Arthur Rimbaud and Charles Baudelaire.

The single "Release the Bats" came out during the emergence of the gothic scene. This song about "vampire sex" was promoted by an advertisement with the words "Dirtiness is next to antigodliness". Their 1982 album Junkyard was inspired by American Southern Gothic imagery, dealing with extreme subjects like an evangelist's murdered daughter. For the Birthday Party, things had changed. Calvert was ejected in 1982; he was reportedly "unable to nail down the beats for 'Dead Joe' to everyone's satisfaction", and Harvey moved to drums. When Pew was jailed for drunk driving and petty theft early in 1982, Chris Walsh, Barry Adamson and Howard's brother Harry replaced him for live appearances and brief studio work. Pew rejoined the band in July.

The Mutiny EP contained lyrics evoking blasphemy, words which were as dark as the gothic poems of Lautréamont. The title track portrayed a dirty heaven with rats and trash. In 1982 a spin-off group with Lydia Lunch, Honeymoon In Red, recorded an album which was eventually released in 1987. Harvey and Cave were reportedly so unhappy with the mixing and overdubbing done after their involvement that they requested their names be withheld from its liner notes. Howard and Pew apparently had no objections to being credited by name.

A tour in January 1983 found the group return to a five-piece, with Jeffrey Wegener playing drums and Harvey returning to second guitar. Wegener did not remain with the group, however, and they returned to a four-piece soon after. Later this year, Blixa Bargeld from the German band EinstĂĽrzende Neubauten played guitar on the track "Mutiny in Heaven". Tension between Cave and Howard soon came to a head, but it was Harvey who first left the group – their final tour saw Des Hefner on drums. The Birthday Party disbanded in late 1983, due in part to the split between Cave and Howard, as well as work and drug-related exhaustion.

Several groups rose from the Birthday Party's ashes: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (featuring Cave, Harvey, Adamson, Bargeld and briefly Pew), Crime and the City Solution (featuring Harvey and Howard, later just Harvey) and These Immortal Souls (featuring Howard). Pew died from injuries caused by an epileptic seizure in 1986.

On 1 September 1992, there was a brief Birthday Party reunion as Rowland S. Howard joined Nick Cave and Mick Harvey on stage at a Bad Seeds NME charity show at the Town and Country Club in London to play Wild World, Dead Joe and Nick The Stripper. Due in part to their legendary status and to the continuing success of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Birthday Party's back catalogue has been re-released on CD several times. Mick Harvey has overseen releases of rare or previously unissued recordings ("Live" and "John Peel" CDs).

In October 2007, Cave alone was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. During his acceptance speech, Cave took it upon himself to 'induct' the Australian members of the Bad Seeds (including Harvey), plus Howard and Pew from The Birthday Party. Rowland S. Howard died 30 December 2009 of liver cancer.

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If one compares Door, Door to later albums made by these soon-to-be-infamous Aussies -- albums released under the Birthday Party moniker -- it sounds fairly tame and relatively straightforward. But that's not to say there's anything wrong with it. In fact, it's a frantic, edgy, and surprisingly catchy piece of post-punk mayhem; just don't expect anything as original or downright disturbing as "Big-Jesus-Trash-Can" or "Zoo-Music Girl." The album starts out in high gear with "The Nightwatchman," replete with ringing guitar figures, a boppy punk-pop chorus (yes, those are "ooh-ooh-ooh-oohs" you're hearing), and dirty sax lines. Sax pops up on "Brave Exhibitions" as well, providing a meaty partner to the lead guitar on circular, descending scales that bring some weirdness to a straight-up rocker. Things begin to get slightly more strange and troubled as the record plays on: "The Voice" and "Somebody's Watching" are filled with a paranoid mania and creepy, memorable musical phrases that make them two of Door, Door's highlights. (The lead guitar parts in the latter song make it seem as if Rowland Howard spent time listening to Television at the wrong speed.) And "Roman Roman" is a frenzied schoolyard chant that hints at some of the anarchic pandemonium the group could create on-stage. It's impressive how, even at this early stage, Nick Cave was a confident and unique singer, perfectly aware of the strengths and limitations of his voice; although he's not much for range, he knows how to come across in a scary and theatrical manner that perfectly complements the music. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the band's closing, mournful ballad, "Shivers," an unashamedly melodramatic example of post-adolescent anguish.

The Boys Next Door - Door, Door (flac  206mb)

01 The Nightwatchman 2:03
02 Brave Exhibitions 2:20
03 Friends Of My World 2:41
04 The Voice 3:50
05 Roman Roman 1:32
06 Somebody's Watching 2:37
07 After A Fashion 4:32
08 Dive Position 2:43
09 I Mistake Myself 4:27
10 Shivers 4:34

The Boys Next Door - Door, Door   (ogg  71mb)

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It should come as no surprise that there is an album in Nick Cave's oeuvre called Prayers on Fire; a fascination with the dark, (self-)destructive side of religion is more than evident in his later work with the Bad Seeds. While there might not be any of the explicit Biblical imagery on Prayers on Fire that Cave would later ejaculate, the title of the album is apt, and its aptness is revealed almost immediately. Over the tribal thud of floor toms, shards of trebly guitar, the throb of an organ, and even a creepily out-of-place trumpet come the possessed, chant-like vocals -- not an incantation to any god, but to "Zoo-Music Girl." It's the religion of depraved sexuality, bestial urges, and sadomasochism. "We spend our lives in a box full of dirt/I murder her dress till it hurts/I murder her dress and she loves it," howls Cave, echoing Leonard Cohen and finally concluding with the berserk plea, "Oh! God! Please let me die beneath her fists." Meanwhile, Cave sounds like he's actually being assaulted by the music, emitting horrific gasps and primitive grunts. And this is only the first track. On the next two tracks, language itself is violated and found inadequate. Words collapse upon themselves in "Cry," with Cave tossing out self-annihilating binaries like "space/no space," "fish/no fish," "clothes/no clothes," and "flesh/no flesh." On "Capers," penned by Genevieve McGuckin, semantics are made into sausage -- words are chewed up and regurgitated as warped neologisms: "gloomloom," "clocklock," "paperparrent," "diehood." The lyrics for "Figure of Fun" aren't even printed in the booklet; instead, merely "obsessive, deadpan, moribund, seasick, etc." And perhaps that best sums up Prayers on Fire's graveyard poetry. The rest of the album is a subterranean labyrinth full of "sand and soot and dust and dirt," peopled by bizarre characters like Nick the Stripper and King Ink, and replete with images of murder, decay, blood, and Kafka-esque insects. Then, of course, there's Cave himself, the literate ghoul with an impressive vocal range who just stepped out of a B horror flick, trying to parry the intensity of the music like an Iggy Pop wasted on goth pills. But be careful not to overlook his subtle sense of humor and his awareness of the camp -- there are also chickens to be counted, nuns inside his head, and Fats Domino on the radio. With Mick Harvey being the only future Bad Seed on hand (Anita Lane also contributed one set of lyrics), the music here foreshadows Cave's later work without quite resembling it (with the exception of his first album). The Birthday Party are closer to Joy Division (only more theatrical), the Pop Group (only spookier), or Pere Ubu (only more percussive). Though present on most of the tracks, the moody piano that would dominate much of Cave's solo work is never really prominent here. Instead it's the squiggles of Rowland Howard's guitar dodging the blows of the furious rhythm section that distinguishes the Birthday Party. Oppressive and unrelenting, Prayers on Fire is highly recommended for those aspiring to advanced states of dementia.

The Birthday Party - Prayers on Fire  (flac  252mb)
01 Zoo-Music Girl 2:34
02 Cry 2:39
03 Capers 2:38
04 Nick The Stripper 3:50
05 Ho-Ho 3:06
06 Figure Of Fun 2:47
07 King Ink 4:39
08 A Dead Song 2:12
09 Yard 5:02
10 Dull Day 3:03
11 Just You And Me 2:01
12 Blundertown 3:07
13 Kathy's Kisses 4:06

The Birthday Party - Prayers on Fire     (ogg  99mb)

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The Party's second and final full studio album, also the final release with the five-person lineup, was perhaps its scuzzy masterpiece, its art/psych/blues/punk fusion taken to at times outrageous heights. Right from its start, nobody held back on anything, Cave's now-demonic vocals in full roar while the rest of the players revamped rhythm & blues and funk into a blood-soaked cabaret exorcism. Nearly every tune is a Party classic one way or another, from the opening slow, sexy grind of "She's Hit," Cave's freaked tale of death and destruction matched by clattering percussion and a perversely crisp guitar from Howard, to the ending title track's crawl toward a last gruesome ending. Tips of the hat to literary influences surface at points, notably "Hamlet (Pow, Pow, Pow)," though the protagonist isn't so much the indecisive tragic figure of Shakespeare as a Romeo-quoting criminal on the loose. The ultimate Party song sits smack dab at the center -- "Big-Jesus-Trash-Can," a hilarious and blasphemous blues/jazz show tune with some great brass from Harvey to top it all off. Guest performers crop up at points; future Bad Seed Barry Adamson plays bass on "Kiss Me Black," while Anita Lane contributes two sets of lyrics if not her direct vocals. Later CD versions included three extra tracks. "Blast Off" and "Release the Bats" were originally issued as a single; both seethe with rage and fire in spades. The latter is at once powerful and a bit of a tongue-in-cheek goth goof, with Cave serving up lines like "Don't tell me that it doesn't hurt/A hundred fluttering in your skirt." The other bonus, a second version of the album's "Dead Joe" recorded in London, is if anything even more frenetically gone than the original, a car crash sample punctuating the lyrical reference to same all the more

 The Birthday Party - Junk Yard (flac  292mb)

01 Blast Off 2:19
02 She's Hit 6:06
03 Dead Joe 3:09
04 The Dim Locator 2:50
05 Hamlet (Pow, Pow, Pow) 5:33
06 Several Sins 2:56
07 Big-Jesus-Trash-Can 3:00
08 Kiss Me Black 2:48
09 6" Gold Blade 3:35
10 Kewpie Doll 3:32
11 Junkyard 5:49
12 Dead Joe (2nd Version) 3:08
13 Release The Bats 2:32

 The Birthday Party - Junk Yard   (ogg  103mb)

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The final Party studio release has the band thrashing to its conclusion. Given that the various projects that rose in its wake -- Cave's solo career, Harvey and Howard's work with Crime and the City Solution, Howard's own solo efforts -- all sound like logical extensions of the Party's sound; artistic dissatisfaction can't explain what brought the Party to an end. Whatever went down, though, the group bowed out with artistic extremism intact, if not always exploding all over the place as in years past. "Jennifers Veil" sounds like a slightly lighter -- but only just -- cousin to Bad Seed's "Deep in the Woods," Cave singing more than intoning, calling to mind the burned romantic of his later years more than once. "Say a Spell" runs at about the same pace but with more feedback to burn, a good torchy blues with a fine howl or two to recommend it. "Swampland" turns up the energy level all around, a crunchy romp through the low and mean places, sonically and lyrically, the Party made their own. "Mutiny in Heaven" closes it all off with a final, worthy blast of fire. Blixa Bargeld guests from Einsturzende Neubaten, foreshadowing his role as key guitarist for Cave's Bad Seeds, with sudden edits and a roaring central refrain from Cave, when not otherwise detailing a world turned upside down with all the fire of a travelling evangelist.

The Birthday Party - Mutiny, The Bad Seed E.P (flac  233mb)

The Bad Seed E.P.
01 Sonny's Burning 3:20
02 Wildworld 3:27
03 Fears Of Gun 3:54
04 Deep In The Woods 4:50
The "Mutiny" Sessions
05 Jennifers Veil 4:58
06 Six Strings That Drew Blood 3:32
07 Say A Spell 3:41
08 Swampland 3:31
09 Pleasure Avalanche 4:23
10 Mutiny In Heaven 4:17

The Birthday Party - Mutiny , The Bad Seed E.P   (ogg  92mb)

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