Each month Topman CTRL's resident controller Huw Stephens invites an artist to take charge in helping him source the best music from the web and beyond - and that includes writing a guest column for Q. This month The 2 Bears are in charge, so here's frontman Raf Rundell's guest column on The Teardrop Explodes' 1981 album Wilder. Head to Topman.com/ctrl for more.
I'm sure lots of Q readers know this album but I only got into it in the last 18 months or so.
I was given it by my friend, the producer Simon Dine. It is hard to categorise and I have no idea how it must have sounded when it was released in 1981. This was the second Teardrop Explodes album, the first one was a massive hit with two or three big radio singles, proper pop stardom, Smash Hits posters, Top Of The Pops and the rest. This one is a brilliant album but it is cracked and lysergic to say the least. A pop record of kinds but one that is well warped.
This was passed to me with an accompanying copy of Head On, Julian Cope's amazing autobiography of this period in the life of him and the band. This album kind of ruined things for The Teardrops Explodes as a commercial concern but I think it's a really interesting bit of work. Here's a load of words....Bold, playful, dark, totally off it's head, a bit pissed off, very honest, confused, really varied and it's fair to say wild.
I can't choose a favourite track. Seven Views Of Jerusalem is shy, subterranean, white-boy funk, like a Ze Records release from around the same time. Passionate Friend is like a 60s psych-pop song dressed up in fizzy over-romantic 80's production. Bent Out Of Shape is a break up song with spooked out, fretless bass groove.
The final song, The Great Dominions is, as the title would suggest, overblown. Though somehow when he sings "Mummy I've been fighting again" you don't burst out laughing, you go with it. That's some real skill right there. The Culture Bunker is about Cope's love/hate relationship with Ian McCulloch and The Bunnymen.
The record is covered in really interesting sounds, lots of effected guitars and basses, synths and horns. It certainly sounds like they spent a bit of money making it. I don't really understand where a lot of the music comes from, I can't place it. But I guess that's why I like it so much. To start with I kept coming back to this album without really knowing why and then it all unfolded and slightly took over my life.
Raf Rundell @FOLLOWTHEBEARS
For more musical discoveries from The 2 Bears this month head to Topman.com/ctrl.
11:11 AM | 23/03/2012
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