Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Strawberry Switchblade - Strawberry Switchblade [Japanese reissue]

Oh my god, I'm obsessed with these gals. I'm obsessed in a way that probably many high school goth girls in the 80s were when they first stumbled upon them. I'm so obsessed that I'm almost too giddy to sensibly and coherently write about them. I'd heard their name thrown around for quite some time, but for some reason I'd always written them off because of the sour assumptions it gave me. However, now that I've finally gotten over my ungrounded weariness, I realize that not only was I very wrong, but also that their name is very fitting for their music/style, and I even like it.

Their sometimes dancy, always sweet and dreamy synth pop is in a way tantamount to a gothic precursor of Saint Etienne, if Sarah Cracknell had a partner with an anxiety disorder and the two liked to wear outrageous polka-dotted dresses and frill their hair out. The band consisted of friends Rose McDowall and Jill Bryson and formed in 1981, but didn't release their first single until '83. Unfortunately, they only put out one album and split up rather acrimoniously in 1986. Rose went on to lend her voice to several other groups (many of them part of the neo-folk movement) such as Coil, Current 93, Death in June, Felt, Nurse With Wound, and Psychic TV.

I actually considered dedicating this whole post to lauding the unbelievably gorgeous extended version of "Trees and Flowers". It's the most beautiful song about agoraphobia ever written. Scratch that - it's one of the most beautiful songs ever written - period. Apparently Bill Drummond had a hand in it, which might explain why its so good. Seriously though, I've listened to it like 10 times in the past couple days and its just as heavenly every time. I showed it to my good friend Lance yesterday and he had the same reaction. If you don't believe me, see the video below (although it's best absorbed in high quality)

Rating: 9.5/10


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