The Fades – The Black Drop EP (Genepool Records)

I seem to have filed this under “psych/garage” on my computer’s hard drive.  Looking back, this was a baffling decision on my part.  Turn a quick ear, for example, to ‘Human Race‘, and we’re closer to the realms of doom rock, whereas the lyrics here possess a kind of charming naivety that wouldn’t be out of step with a young Syd Barrett if he’d joined The Swans and they, in turn, had decided to bridge the gap between shoegazing and Britpop.  Confused? You will be.  “I saw my old friend/He was going round the bend/Walking around town holding cardboard,” sings frontman David Lightfoot ambiguously, before the delightfully intense ‘Absolutely High‘ deep roots itself in your head permanently, courtesy of a mantra-like vocal which acts as – and follows – its own dramatic rhythm.

It’s a thrilling and ever so slightly unnerving tune that prove that The Fades still have something different to offer, and if you’re going to categorise them anywhere, then surely it should remain right at the top of that pile you marked “ones to watch” almost a decade ago.  ‘Airforce‘ bursts in after the aforementioned ‘Human Race’, a high-speed adrenaline junkie of an instrumental, paces around the carriage for a while, slaps the ticket inspector, and leaps from the window onto a grassy verge while the engine is in full throttle.

Those of a nervous disposition may wish to give The Black Drop something of a wide berth, especially if you suffer from coulrophobia, for the sleeve depicts what looks like the skull of Krusty The Clown, but far more disturbing than that.  The physical edition features a bonus track called ‘I Need A Horse‘ too, a vaguely shoegazey track – in the same way that Moose were shoegazey but not really – and it wouldn’t take much of a leap of faith to imagine this one making it onto one of those old Indie Top 20 vinyl that were the essential makeup of any self (dis)respecting teenager at the arse end of the eighties.

Inspired by a “chance meeting with an old friend who was talking of conspiracy theories and dark forces out to get him,” all proceeds from the physical edition of this EP will go to CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), a commendable charity dedicated to preventing male suicide.  You’ll have to be quick, as copies are extremely limited, but do try to get hold of one, for it really is quite special.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.