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Leonard's Lair, 2003, "Biting Tongues: After The Click"

Biting Tongues
After The Click (Retrospective 1980-89)

(3 out of 5)

(taken from Leonard's Lair website)

Undoubtedly Biting Tongues' most famous ex-member is Graham Massey, now a respected producer and a member of the indie-dance band 808 State. The Biting Tongues, however, were a far more different proposition who - along with Cabaret Voltaire and Shriekback - prevailed in an early 80s soup of jazz-funk rhythms, spoken word lyrics and a crisp production sound that has aged remarkably well. The group were also exciting live performers using films and slides as a backdrop to their chaotic, nightmarish rhythms. Even stripped back to the basics there's something darkly attractive about their music exemplified in the opening minute and a half of 'Dirt For 485'; just handclaps and voice are used whereas superb cuts like 'Aair Care' made up of an insistent tribal rhythm and disorientating sax solo are incendiary and vital. There's little to link to Massey's future direction until later on as 'Meat Mask Separatist' and then 'Double Gold St Paul' mark the end of their careers; a more global dance-orientated sound can be detected and the music flows instead of flirting with awkward time signatures. Yet just as things threaten to go conventional the live version of 'Everywhere But Here' is a rude wake-up call. Uncompromising is the word for it but without bands like these music cannot develop.

Track Listing

01 R.R.O.R.
02 Heart Disease
03 You Can Choke Like That
04 Reflector
05 Denture Beach
06 Dirt For 485
07 Iyahbhoone
08 44
09 Aair Care (*)
10 Evening State/Lock Up State
11 Feverhouse Pt 1
12 Meat Mask Separatist
13 Compressor
14 Double Gold St Paul
15 House Of Hatchets
16 Everywhere But Here (Live)

(*) = Standout Track