“Do Animals Believe In God?” by Pink Military - album review

album.png

TJR says

The one and only album from Liverpool's Pink Miltary, led by vocalist Jayne Casey, think: a moodier Lene Lovich fronting a more psychedelic Teardrops. They line-up: Jayne Casey (vocals), Nicky Hillon (synthesizer, guitar, vocals), Martin Dempsey (bass), Charlie Griffiths (synthesizer, piano), Chris Joyce (drums) and Neil Innes (congas, percussion). They came into this one on the back of two sessions for John Peel and a very well received EP, “Blood And Lipstick”. Over the course of just nine days, the album was engineered by John Brierley at his Cargo Studios in Rochdale, which did well by Joy Division, The Fall, The Teardrop Explodes, Blue Orchids, Echo and the Bunnymen and Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark as the 70s turned into the 80s. It lived up to the promise, always edgy and willing to take a chance, even when their brand of post-punk ventured into alt-pop or psuedo-disco territories.

Side one consists largely of material written by the core two of Jayne and Nicky in the last two years. Opening the set is a new recording of “Degenerated Man” which they had released as part of a live EP in '79. It sets a menacing tone, but this is not maintained on the melancholic “I Cry” or the Patti-Smith-like “Did You See Her?”, the closest the album comes to a pop concession. An edited version of the song would be released as the album's only single the following month. Side two is where the record's adventurous spirit really comes alive and, somewhat bizarrely, it was all ad-hoc Brian-Eno-like improv in the studio, beginning with the trippy “Living In The Jungle”, a stripped-bare, highly-rhythmic swirler, bathed in echoed vocals with backward loops adding to the dizzying and hazy effect. “You're living in the jungle” whispers Jayne, completing the freakout. Dazed and confused, we're ready to receive “Dreamtime”, an eerie, moody creepout, set to a nursery-rhyme-like melody all the while, which comes complete with distant screams. Nightmare time more like.

Breaking us out from our stupor is the excellent “War Games”: “High command decrees we'll attack at noon, Intelligence says it's none too soon, Deep in my foxhole the telephone rings, Informing me of craters and other things”. The frenetic rhythm gets the pulse racing and the adrenaline flowing. What is this, a recruitment drive? The group are superb, the production ace in that Cargo way. The nightmarish tone continues on the thoroughly discordant and completely fantastic “Heaven / Hell”, accentuated by film vocal samples, weird chords, off notes and wild sax. The title-track, based on a random question asked by a friend in a club just a month earlier. It sounds quite unlike anything else on the record and breaks up Jayne's run as lead vocalist, co-writer Nicky stepping up to the mic: “it could be Kennedy looking for a gun, it could be Churchill who still thinks he won, and as the clowns dance round, someone else was found, hiding in the robes of love, do you, do I believe?” In so many ways, the animals know best, do they not? It's a suitably weird finish to a wonderful record which, although it didn't breakout from the underground, won many admirers, of which I'm most certainly one.

The Jukebox Rebel
31-Mar-2011

A1 [04:25] 8.4.png Pink Military - Degenerated Man (Jayne Casey, Nicky Hillon, Martin Dempsey, Charlie Griffiths, Chris Joyce, Neil Innes) Post-Punk
A2 [03:31] 6.5.png Pink Military - I Cry (Jayne Casey, Nicky Hillon, Martin Dempsey, Charlie Griffiths, Chris Joyce, Neil Innes) New Wave
A3 [03:06] 6.8.png Pink Military - Did You See Her? (Jayne Casey, Nicky Hillon, Martin Dempsey, Charlie Griffiths, Chris Joyce, Neil Innes) New Wave
A4 [02:03] 5.7.png Pink Military - Wild West (Jayne Casey, Nicky Hillon, Martin Dempsey, Charlie Griffiths, Chris Joyce, Neil Innes) New Wave
A5 [03:09] 6.6.png Pink Military - Back On The London Stage (Jayne Casey, Nicky Hillon, Martin Dempsey, Charlie Griffiths, Chris Joyce, Neil Innes) New Wave
A6 [03:05] 6.1.png Pink Military - After Hiroshima (Jayne Casey, Nicky Hillon, Martin Dempsey, Charlie Griffiths, Chris Joyce, Neil Innes) New Wave
B1 [03:55] 6.7.png Pink Military - Living In The Jungle (Jayne Casey, Nicky Hillon, Martin Dempsey, Charlie Griffiths, Chris Joyce, Neil Innes) Tripbeat
B2 [02:45] 7.5.png Pink Military - Dreamtime (Jayne Casey, Nicky Hillon, Martin Dempsey, Charlie Griffiths, Chris Joyce, Neil Innes) Moodcore
B3 [02:53] 8.6.png Pink Military - War Games (Jayne Casey, Nicky Hillon, Martin Dempsey, Charlie Griffiths, Chris Joyce, Neil Innes) Post-Punk
B4 [03:27] 8.1.png Pink Military - Heaven / Hell (Jayne Casey, Nicky Hillon, Martin Dempsey, Charlie Griffiths, Chris Joyce, Neil Innes) Post-Punk
B5 [04:12] 9.0.png Pink Military - Do Animals Believe In God? (Jayne Casey, Nicky Hillon, Martin Dempsey, Charlie Griffiths, Chris Joyce, Neil Innes) New Wave




care-to-share.png

if-so-thanks.png