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aliensexfiend possessed
Artist: Alien Sex Fiend
Title: Possessed
Genre: Gothic / Batcave
Release Date: 9th November 2018
Label: Cherry Red Records


Album Review

It was 36 years ago when ALIEN SEX FIEND belched forth onto a London scene already bursting with eccentrics, misfits, gothic punks, new romantics, post-punkers and horror disciples. Yet they somehow stood apart, perhaps because they managed to combine all those genres and elements into one glorious whole, and perhaps because they were simply more extreme and convincing while doing it. Early singles ‘Lips Can’t Go’ and ‘Ignore The Machine’ perhaps best sum things up from the time - what is it? Where did it come from? A complete riot of bath-tub-produced insanity, it’s hilarious, sinister, bizarre, and completely infectious. And that was another key factor - you might not have wanted to, but you could dance to ALIEN SEX FIEND ensuring they became favourites in the underground clubs. Live, you’ve got everything from heads on spikes, masses of cobwebs and buckets of fake blood, and always the utterly mesmerising sight of an emaciated and deathly-white Nik Fiend, cavorting around like a modern day Doctor Frankenstein. And he’s still doing it now. Which is quite the thing.

New release ‘Possessed’ sounds, surprisingly, fresh. The first release since the rather half-arsed ‘Death Trip’ from 2010, there’s definitely life in the old corpse yet, and enough new ideas and cheeky humour to keep this afloat throughout. And so we lurch from the spooky repetitive nightmare of ‘Possessed’ (try this one in headphones) into the albums first stomper, the utterly fabulous and tastefully titled ‘Shit’s Coming Down’. Nik Fiends flat-as-a-fart vocals waft around stabs of guitar and washes of synth, all carried along with by infectious ploddy beat. You can tell the band like it - there’s a furious remix tacked onto the end of the album, and even this version, at over 6 minutes long, slightly outstays its welcome. At over 11 minutes long, ‘It’s In My Blood’ is something of a challenge - certainly interesting and odd enough, it’s just a bit self-indulgent. But there has always been a shrug of bony shoulders at any criticism, this is a band who have always done exactly what they wanted. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. And when it finally breaks, this is a huge, hypnotic monster of a rock song.

‘Carcass’ is almost a pop song in comparison, albeit a twisted and darkly comic one. And ‘Ghost In The Machine’ is classic ALIEN SEX FIEND territory, a familiar beat, loops, samples, and distorted snatches of vocal. Delve deep into some wonky acid-fried dream on the ridiculously wobbly ‘Amnesia’, fall drunkenly into your rum and coke during the comatose ‘Gotta Get Back’ or relive those glory days of mid-eighties goth with the doomy, echo-drenched ‘Invisible’. Sci-fi instrumental ‘Neutron’ leads to the unlikely harmonica jaunt of ‘Bloody Reprisal’, which is somehow the perfect end to this. Unexpected, irreverent, and perfectly delightful. It’s not the best album ever, disjointed, patience-testing and at times simply baffling. But ALIEN SEX FIEND have always made their weaknesses into strengths. If they weren’t creating this zany, unearthly racket, then someone else would, and they wouldn’t be having half as much fun, or doing it half as well. Long may they continue!


Tracklist

01. Possessed (Intro)
02. Shit’s Coming Down
03. It’s In My Blood
04. Carcass
05. Ghost In The Machine
06. Amnesia
07. Spine-Tingler
08. Gotta Get Back
09. Invisible (The Beyond Mix)
10. Neutron
11. Bloody Reprisal
12. Shit’s Coming Down (Monster Mix)


Line-up

Nik and Mrs Fiend


Website

http://www.asf-13thmoon.demon.co.uk / https://www.facebook.com/AlienSexFiendOfficial


Cover Picture

aliensexfiend possessed


Rating

Music: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10


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