I saw this on cold spring’s site and liked the sound of it, so I bought it unheard. I’ve liked Val Denham’s art ever since Throbbing Gristle’s ‘Funeral in Berlin’ back in the early eighties.
“my bra and knickers were red like sin”
With a name like ‘Black sun productions’, it’s no great surprise that there are occasional hints of Coil – not that this pair sound ‘like’ Geff, Sleazy, et al, though – in fact, the more I listen to it, the more I think of more underground eighties acts like Redemption inc or Un-kommuniti. Not that they sound much like either of them either. In fact, maybe Soft cell would be a closer analogy, particularly in the vocals, words and delivery. That same near-clumsiness found in Marc Almond’s earlier work.
In fact, Ms Denham’s voice ‘n’ delivery are more like a witchy Mark E Smith in a burning cabaret.
“and now, the room is spinning; the alcohol is winning”
Due to the androgynous name, I never knew which gender Val Denham actually was – oayk, I never lost any sleep over the question – but it turns out I was right.
“when in danger, when in doubt; run in circles, scream and shout”
A lot of the songs deal with transgender issues, a subject pretty close to her heart, it seems. In particular, ‘flowers in the trenches’ takes a savage look at military history – using a perspective I hadn’t considered before.
This is the second great album I’ve come across this year. Radically different to the Pretty Things’ ‘Balboa island@, but equally, a regular dancefloor-filler at scat-candy acres.

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