Unlike the Meryl Streep weepathon with which they share a name, The Bridges of Madison County’s latest offering is unlikely to make the housewives of the world come over all unnecessary. However, there is a good chance that ‘Beastenders’ will set many a post-punk fan all aquiver.
A truly productive ensemble, The Bridges of Madison County share members with Hooray For Humans, Letter From Belgium, The Jimmy Cake, Hands up Who Wants to Die and Sylvan. This album then, sees them make their first foray into full length records as a unit. ‘Beastenders’ will finally see the light of day in early August despite having been wrapped up in studio two years ago. This doesn’t mean it has gone stale in any way; in fact it’s a bit of a beast.
Speaking of beasts, album opener Cthulhu Vs. Bride of Octobear pits an octopus-headed monster from a H.P. Lovecraft sci-fi short against octopus-handed Octobear’s betrothed. Sadly, we can’t report on the outcome of the skirmish because the lyrics are fairly inaudible but we’d like to think Octobear’s better half is still kicking about. Just shy of a seven minute squall, this track is mostly instrumental with a smattering of face-melting vocals tacked on at the end. It’s not long until the band’s signature mariachi-style trumpeting is introduced, making it sound like some sort of Cinco de Mayo Fiesta might if it were hosted in Hades.
With Mary Sweeney 2, the band does their best to wear your ears off with a two-minute chaotic cacophony of high-hat and hollering. So as not to lose momentum they mix it up with interesting off-kilter harmonising and Cedric Bixler-Zavala style bellowed vocal on Kate Bush Under 16’s Trophy For Girls. Then it’s business as usual with the post-punk onslaught of Eggs of Contemptasaurus Rex which has previously reared its hardcore head on last years well received EP – ‘The Divil Wears Prada’.
There is a lot of unbridled madness going on here with creativity oozing from the shit-swathed front cover of this LP to the back. It has left us itching for a live airing which, in an age where artists rely so heavily on ticket sales to keep themselves in beers and t-shirts; is undeniably a job well done.