We’ve not really reviewed any re-releases before but given we’d never heard of this record before, and it kind of stood out, here goes.
The hilariously named Bald Mermaid was an unhinged side project by Andrew Clare of I’m Being Good (whose excellent album A Constellation Of Bad Ideas was released last year and we neglected to review) . An album that was rather lost in the annals of time “Let us Be Your Snails”, originally released in 1996, has just resurfaced on bandcamp courtesy of Clare’s own Infinite Chug label.
It’s a completely acid fried album of bizarre screeching vocals unpleasant distorted electronics and junk percussion akin to the noisiest, weirdest elements of Boredoms and Butthole Surfers. With tracks with names like “chubby hubby”, “yes we kill it” and “space meat for ghost” this is undoubtedly the workings of a man under the influence of… something.
“Wet Hand” is all based around two weird squeaky notes, a ridiculously atonal hook and distorted shrieking like an amphetamine fuelled Captain Beefheart. “Chubby Hubby” is all clangs and gutteral gibberish with a smattering of drunk guitar. “Yes We Kill It” is more of the same only with one of those 80s sound gun effects toys for company. “The marvellous eye of the fishes” and “Rule with hate” would fit quite comfortably on The Boredoms’ “Chocolate Synthesizer” with the idiotic pounding drums and muffled barked vocals. It all pretty much goes on in this vein for 15 tracks.
There is nothing here that is not atonal, only variations on how abstract or rhythmic a track might be.
“Dog sees only black” initially hints at being something quite pleasant before quickly being vandalised by violent backwards noise and aggressive wailing.
The drum groove of “Gundrada’s Teeth” is perhaps the closest things come to “normal” yet the accompanying elements remain eccentric.
To some this will be unlistenable, to others brilliant. What’s for certain is that you have to be in a certain state of mind to sit down and listen to this twisted nonsense.
There is something in this that sits perfectly with the oddness of lockdown. It’s almost the sound of someone who has cracked through the isolation, only this precedes it by some 24 years.
You may enjoy this if you like: Butthole Surfers, Boredoms, The Residents, Mr Bungle