Friday, May 18, 2007

Colossal Reissues

Young Marble Giants: Brand-New-Life
Young Marble Giants: Final Day

Among last week's list of my top 25 independent records was the Young Marble Giants' 1980 album, Colossal Youth. YMG will reunite for a single show in Wales later this month, and Domino Records is giving their music a deluxe three-disc reissue, which will include the Testcard EP, demos, and tracks recorded for a Peel Session. Tiny Mix Tapes has the track list. The release date is September 11. Oh, Domino.

If you've only ever heard YMG songs butchered by the likes of Hole ("Credit in the Straight World") or Belle & Sebastian ("Final Day"), the sound of the Welsh trio will be a revelation. The bright and clipped guitar and bass, backed by simple drum machine patterns, suggests New Wave, but only on paper. Alison Statton's emotive but mannered vocals and the band's unique lyrics and tunes set Young Marble Giants apart in a timeless world of their own.

More great reissue news: an expanded version of Pylon's 1980 debut album will be released on CD by DFA Records. Gyrate Plus has been in the works for two years, and no street date has been announced, but the project has found a home at the label of LCD Soundsystem. Pylon too employed bright and clipped guitar and bass tones, but Pylon's songs were purpose-built for the dancefloor. Their walloping drums and Vanessa's uninhibited vocals were about as far as you can get from Young Marble Giants. To hear Pylon's music, get thee hence to Southern Shelter, which features a live show from the reunited Pylon, now self-described as a cover band playing their own songs. Among the Athens bands featured in the film Athens GA Inside/Out, most of which were trying to make it in the wake of REM's success, the members of Pylon were refreshingly indifferent to the prospect of success in the music industry.

Coincidentally, both of today's bands (Young Marble Giants and Pylon) were filmed in performance at the NYC club Hurrah's. Last time I heard from Tom Branch (Atlanta filmmmaker and guitarist from the bands Insane Jane, the Pencil Dix, and Legend of the Giant Squid), he was working on a Pylon documentary.


At 5/18/2007 6:40 PM , Blogger Slits Fan said...

This is an exciting re-release, too.

At 5/19/2007 8:24 AM , Blogger jon manyjars said...

Never heard of that group!

At 5/21/2007 7:55 AM , Blogger Bill said...

Exciting news about Colossal Youth...hopefully Domino will do the band the same justice they did Orange Juice and Josef K.

At 5/30/2007 11:23 PM , Blogger Disco:Very said...

I had vaguely heard about a Young Marble reissue and I somewhat peed with glee knowing my over-played Testcard EP will soon be able to retire when the CD version takes its place, BUT A REISSUE OF ANYTHING BY PYLON IS ENOUGH TO MAKE ME SCREAM IN HUGE CAPITAL LETTERS! In all seriousness, I still rank them as one of the Top Ten live shows I've ever seen in my life.


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