Music Reviews

The Bevis Frond

Miasma

Inner Marshland

Rubric

It’s a gift to listen to these records, a gift as rare and singular as listening to early Half Japanese or Residents material. To hear the mystic vision and drive of one man, Frond mainstay Nick Saloman, give flight to the weird and wonderful visions inside his head. Saloman attempted to recast the lysergic flights of both the UFO scene and Haight-Ashbury into 1980s England, where punks and longhairs and weirdos of all types could just vibe out to the beautiful music. That’s the Bevis Frond Experience.

The childlike whimsy of Syd Barrett rubbing up against the quicksilver dischord guitar of J. Mascis’ Dinosaur Jr. Toy instrument tape loops and noises might give way to soaring, angel-voiced choruses, or in floods dirty garage rock, razor sharp and rock bottom. Is that a sample of The Riddler from the old campy Batman TV show? Yes! But these records are more than wide-eyed freakout explosions. There’s a pretty good story to boot.

It goes like this – Nick Saloman had been in bands for over a decade, toiling away, always just on the fringes, too weird to be popular. He decides to pack it all in, but not before writing and recording one last swan song, his way, under the name The Bevis Frond. This record (Miasma) would be given out to friends and family before giving this music thing up. Somehow, one of the tapes fell in the hands of Funhouse Records, who order up a bunch of copies to distribute before they even get to side two. Before you know it, they start gently prodding The Bevis Frond for a follow-up (Inner Marshland), and he’s still making lovely music today.

The repackages are quite nice, with fucking cool alien artwork, enlightening historical liner notes, photos and an indispensable map of the Inner Marshland. Did I mention that each CD comes with a passel of bonus tracks? The Bevis Frond should be a national treasure here in the UK by now. Everyone who thinks the 1980s were a bad time for music can once again kindly go and fuck themselves.

Rubric Records: http://www.rubricrecords.com


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