The sunshine does monstrous things to a young man's mind-set.
Sure, those initial rays on a late spring evening are blessed relief after a winter of miserable drizzle and months spent in shadows, but the heat on the head and the glare in the eyes distorts one's logic; senses are scrambled into a state of volatility, where the merest misdemeanor can trigger brutal violence after a few pub garden pints. This is where Charlottefield come into the equation. I, personally, am a calm drinker, more than likely to turn the other way if faced by an aggressor. With How Long Are You Staying (note: no question mark) in the background, though, I'll take my chances.
And chances are you'll walk away with half of this pint glass stuck in your cheek.
Violence is rife throughout this long overdue eight-track debut album (29 minutes start to stop), from the bloodied hands of the catwoman on the cover to the frantic screams of the very first song, 'Nine Tails'. It's an album of extremes, where nary a single guitar string is left unscathed by the recording process and every drum skin is sliced to shreds come a song's conclusion. While we're on the subject, a simple fact: Charlottefield possess the best drummer in Britain, maybe. Listen to this a few times and that'll become apparent; you'll want to sell a loved one to pay for lessons. Guitars? Nah: listen to this a few times and you'll begin imagining the innumerable ways in which they can be obliterated. Me? I choose incineration - no chance of a pretty corpse. Charlottefield's are certainly hellbent on self-destruction.
'Paper Dart' has been heard before on Jonson Family's_ Two Minutemen_ compilation, but sounds fantastically fresh in an album context. It's the final song to be characterised by those hellhound shrieks, the last song to sound something like an disfigured Fall/Jesus Lizard split seven-inch played at compact disc speed, as the climactic 'Weevils' is the greatest instrumental six-and-something rock and roll minutes never to have been written by Lightning Bolt. Again, the drumming is phenomenal to the extent of sometime disbelief. Charlottefield don't only deal in bombast though: as agitated as the guilty parties so obviously are, they nevertheless craft a kind of subtle splendour with understated mid-album effort 'How Long'. To some it'll come as relief akin to those first slivers of sunshine through a cloudy sky.
To another it'll comprise a hindrance, a moment's weakness not to be repeated. They'll skip it in time, tuning in only to the rage around the resplendence. They'll absorb this so that it echoes within their skull while fucking a former best friend's face in, submitting to the primal and the passionate. It'll infect their blood and corrupt their heart. It's the catalyst, the slipping from the knife's edge into blood-spilling chaos.
Promise me you'll watch where you're drinking on a midsummer's eve.
12" vinyl version of this album, with different artwork, is available from unlabel. There are only two hundred or so copies though, so be quick.
9Mike Diver's Score