15 September 2004

Skullflower are Power-Drained Losers

"I like the feeling of elevation through noise. I like the idea of 'Sky Blue Void' and 'Argon', to get blown higher and thinner on rising sheets of guitar." -- Matthew Bower, Skullflower and Total

I first heard Skullflower on the Portable Altamont Shock compilation where they appeared alongside Drunks With Guns, Nurse With Wound, Current 93 and Coil (i know, i know...but this is the last mention of Coil for the near future, I promise)

Trust me, it's not nearly as exciting as it sounds; there are alternative versions here and there but most of them aren't as good as the originals; completists only, I reckon (and there's a reason why you've never heard of Drunks With Guns)

"The stories I'm drawn to are stories where you do have an Alice or a Dorothy. stories of innocence, and stories of that innocence being abused." -- Philip Best, Ramleh

I can't say I play Skullflower much these days; it's two grinding, too heavy by far for my delicate buds and two nihilistic to help me get out of bed in the morning (i like black hole music but this is just ridiculous; it's sort of anti-everything, neither especially visceral or particualry transcendent - maybe live there's a reaction; after all Merzbow hardly works as washing up music) but if you like slow-burning drone-rock of the Sun 0)))))) variety then these guys probably do it better than anyone.

And I do like the name. See what they've done there?

One thing, though, I just can't shake the feeling that some of the stuff these guys come out with smacks of the kinda people you normally try to avoid at bus stations, late at night. They come across as power hungry in the way that only the power drained can be... and the above remarks from the likes of Philip Best, one time Whitehouse and Skullflower member makes you think less of the power relationships in Society as a whole and more of the kind of seedy, slightly retarded, slightly pathetic de-masculinized zero-bots who now get mis-characterised as paedophiles (they can't all be, can they?) or losers, mostly dependent on the amount of energy they're prepared to expend in the pursuit of their goals.

Hang on a minute, I don't like these bands. Knew I felt strongly about Skullflower but always figured it was because I liked them. Damn if I haven't gone the other way and wrote myself down. Derrida was right (I'm still trying you see); words don't seem to relate in any direct way to thoughts, there's always a displacement, a shift of meaninging. When you start writing them down they change your mind.

Please, whatever you do, don't listen to the track below. You never know how much it's gonna corrupt you. Obviously, if you are already a sad sociopathic, power-drained loser then feel free.

It's meant for you.

I like this a lot.


edgy said...

I've got that Portable Altamont and I think I agree with you, but I always loved the title of the Skullflower track, "Bo Diddley's Shitpump". Wish I'd thought of that one. Does that make me a pathetic power-drained loser? (no need to answer!!)

unhalfbricking said...

Too late for me, mate...went on a major Matthew Bower binge earlier this year. Points taken about the earlier Skullflower material and about the mentality that produces such music but I'd sooner attribute it to Philip Best than Matthew Bower since he seems to have passed through the eye of the hurricane into blissed-out, psychedelic serenity - more immersion than immolation. The last Skullflower album, Exquisite Fucking Boredom, was about the most mind-expanding mantra I've heard in years and Sunroof! is all drift and reverie. Thanks for the link - I'll be on the edge of my seat for the rest of the year.

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