Real To Real Cacophony album
Real To Real Cacophony
The first Simple Minds album LIFE IN A DAY was one of the best albums of this year, and here's
the follow-up. They have moved on in the interim, now relying more heavily on electronics. These tend to detract from the music in several cases,
particularly on side one. John Leckie is, I am 98% certain, the guilty man. He should have been
strapped to the desk. Real To Real, the opening track, begins with a fractured Devo-type rhythm
interspersed with nasty squittering noises, and the next song Naked Eye features heavy repeat-echo
drums and a shimmering synthesiser. By the third track Citizen we begin to feel nostalgic
for the old days when rhythms were rhythms and tunes were tunes.
Carnival is better - more identifiable as a song rather than a disconnected series of squeaks, burps
and unexplained thrashes. Factory is better yet, Jim Kerr sounding
uncannily like Bryan Ferrari in his delivery. Cacophony is basically a guitar phrase with
more funny noises in the background. Veldt evokes the image of a futuristic electronic jungle. It
sounds like 'Tusk' played backwards.
Side one, then, is patchy. The second side is uniformly brilliant, beginning with the pent-up throbbing power of
Premonition, and building through
Changeling and the instrumental
Film Theme, which sounds like The Beatles might have sounded
had they persevered into the electronic age.
The strength of Simple Minds is in the clever interplay of hypnotic synth and guitar phrases, underpinned by a drummer and
bassist who follow each other closely, giving a firm background to the bizarre excursions of
Charles Burchill (guitar, violin and sax) and
Michael McNeil (keyboards). If you liked Roxy's MANIFESTO album, hear
Simple Minds take it a stage further. Intriguing and brave.
Recorded at Rockfield, produced, engineered and mixed by John Leckie, who constantly teeters on the
verge of cluttering the songs, but gets a satisfying full sound.
Musicians Only, December 8th 1979
Thanks to Robert Struthers for the scan.