Vile Imbeciles - D Is For W (Tea Vee Eye)

Putting the 'good' back into the phrase 'weird, but in a good way.'

Released Oct 24th, 2011 via Tea Vee Eye / By Paul Robertson
Vile Imbeciles - D Is For W (Tea Vee Eye) These Vile Imbeciles have come a long way since the headache-and-seizure-inducing days of their debut album, Ma, trading their scrappy 'early Melvins-play-garage-rock' sound for a decidedly more sophisticated, yet just as prickly and awkward, mode of expression that takes in the beautiful fractured dream-logic rock of Shudder To Think and Time Of Orchids, the herky-jerky electronic frug of Brainiac, the alien stutter and falter of U.S Maple – head Imbecile Andy Huxley's sighing sotto voce vocal is a dead ringer for that of Maple's Al Johnson, with overtones of the borderline-histrionic falsetto of Brainiac's late lamented Timmy Taylor to boot – and the wilful joy and exuberance of the UK's own Cardiacs and XTC, via the astringent avant-chamber music of Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band, who make their presence felt most strongly during the first half of penultimate number 'It Makes You Sad', with its clipped guitar phrasing, purity of tone and awkward angularity being heavily evocative of the playing of Gary Lucas during the immortal 'Evening Bell'.

Quite the heady brew, yet it all hangs together beautifully. An awkward, occasionally uncomfortable, form of beauty, but beauty nonetheless. Rhythms diverge and mesh like the delicate gears of some formidably complex machine and diamond-sharp melodies shatter and fracture under the alien gravity that the band apply to them, twisting them into ever-revolving new forms, slicing them into unnatural intervals and generally tweaking them to within an inch of their lives. No liberty is left untaken in the pursuit of bloody-minded artistry and self-expression.

Despite the heavily structured density of the music, the overriding feeling behind the entirety of D Is For W is one of total exuberance. The interplay between the instruments is so playful and the overall tone is resolutely upbeat, something shared not only by the Cardiacs but by kindred spirits Knifeworld, the modern-prog vehicle of Cardiacs/Monsoon Bassoon/Guapo axeman Kavus Torabi.

The phrase 'joyful disorder' is one that Vile Imbeciles have always brought to mind, and with D Is For W, it is something that they wholeheartedly embrace and embody, along with an oddly disconnected dreamlike ambience that lends an unearthly air to their twisting complexities. Weird music never sounded so transcendent, so vital and so utterly unforced and natural.