Skip to main content

higher primates


music review:: coil:: ape of naples

this is it. this is the last coil album ever. capping off more than twenty years of consistently creative, groundbreaking music is the ape of naples. and what an ending to a glorious career.

the material on this album was drawn from recordings made over an extended period of time (including some dating from the sessions intended for their long-promised, never-delivered international dark skies album for trent reznor’s nothing label), but, as they have done before, coil are able to present a series of unrelated tracks and make something that is stronger than what most artists release as albums. how do they manage this? it’s their own sweet secret.

musically, the album is a fitting memorial to the band, encompassing elements of many of the styles that they have explored, while still remaining strikingly fresh and original. they’ve even stolen some bits from previous releases and dusted them off for a final curtsey. the fragile and lovely sound that graced the two volumes of musick to play in the dark is heard early on. the rawness of their first release, scatology, finds a responsive echo through the years. the debauched cabaret vibe of love’s secret domain is reflected in a track like the tattooed man... whatever a coil fan wants to find, there is something of it here. i would not go so far as to say that this is the finest coil album (i’d have a hard time telling what that was anyway), since i find that there are no tracks that individually have the strength of the whole (part of coil’s genius was always being able to provide brilliant albums populated by tracks that were separately just as brilliant). but it is beautiful.

of course, reviewing this album poses a bit of a conundrum: is it possible to listen to this music without reading into it the life of the artist behind it? there seems to be a pervasive melancholia throughout the music. would it seem less sad if jhonn balance were still alive? quite possibly. balance, a desperate alcoholic while alive, often wrote about death, addiction and depression, but his lyrics unquestionably gain poignancy in the light of his own premature death.

on its own, ape of naples would be remarkable, a subtle and mysterious masterstroke from a group who seemed capable of fathomless creativity. taken in context, it is a remarkable testament to a group who continued to use their creativity, despite the fact that they could easily have rested on laurels garnered early in their career. coil are officially put to rest. the world is a little quieter, a little sadder and a little poorer for it.

available from distributors stateside like soleilmoon or direct from threshold house.

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

mental health mondays :: pop quiz

those of you who are friends of mine on facebook [that might look a little weird to those of you seeing this post on facebook] may have seen my weekly "sunday quiz time", where i just ask random questions in the name of stimulating conversation. after doing that this week, i ended up taking a very wide variety of quizzes on mental floss, which made me a little smug about my knowledge of geography and a little rattled about my knowledge of the finer points of grammar. [i want to say, in my defense, that the one grammar quiz i found was really f**king hard. is that last sentence grammatically correct? i don't know. i have no confidence in my grammar anymore.]

i got so into answering questions about just about anything that i thought it might be fun to apply that format to mental health mondays. i've already done links to quizzes about various mental disorders and how to tell if you have them [i think it turned out i had all of them], but i wanted to do a special set of…

making faces :: hot stuff, comin' through

i don't even know what to say about the weather. the end of september saw temperatures at a scalding 36c/ 97f outside. this is especially annoying because we've had a moderate summer. most days it rained a little in the morning, the temperatures didn't creep into the 30s too often and there wasn't the normal stretch of a few weeks when it felt like we were living on the sun. now, we've receded into more normal fall weather, although it's still on the warm side for mid-october. that climate change thing is a bitch.

trying to think of something positive in the situation, it does put me in a perfect frame of mind to write about urban decay's naked heat palette. it's the latest in what appears to be an endless series of warm neutral and red eyeshadow palettes that have followed in the footsteps of anastasia's modern renaissance. [which i ultimately decided i didn't need after doing a thorough search of my considerable stash.] i do think that it'…