Friday, June 17, 2011

FDF Volume 3 Issue 229 - New Fast Automatic Daffodils - Body, Exit, Mind

By: March

Album – Body Exit Mind
Artist – New Fast Automatic Daffodils
Key Players - Icarus Wilson-Wright: Percussion. Perry Saunders: drums. Justin Crawford: Bass. Dolan Hewison: guitar. Andy Spearpoint: vocals
Produced By – Craig Leon

Release Date – March 1993 (US Release)

What caused me to blow off the dust? - I bought this cd ages ago for a single track. It made it's way on to a few mix tapes in the early 90's. I don't have any of their other music and always felt if I sold it back I'd never be able to find it again (this was before the internet kids). So, its been a very long time, and this week I don't think too many readers.

Overview – Formed in 1988 by punk rockers and students, Manchester, England band New Fast Automatic Daffodils (or New FADS) were quickly pigeonholed in to the “Madchester” scene. The band, who got their name from a poem, were never really part of the scene. They'd release a few eps, and this, their second full length, was produced by Craig Leon, who had produced the first three Ramones records as well as Blonde. The album would peak at #57 in the UK and the band would release one more full length before disbanding in 1995.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The album starts with “Bong”. Don't adjust your playback devices there is no sound for the first 7-8 seconds then Saunders gets rolling across the drums. Hewison tosses a few riffs but it is Crawfords bass that stands out. The band plays on then Spearpoint comes in. He sings in a low baritone voice and the band finds the tight groove. Wilson-Wright adds some splashes on percussion so that Saunders can continue with this back beat. Hewison gets a quick run on guitar as Spearpoint continues to growl out the second verse. Spearpoint says a quick “thank you” and the percussion of Wilson-Wright takes the lead. The guitar gets a bit more fuzzy but Crawford continues his rock solid bass line. “It's Not What you Know” starts with single bass notes from Crawford and Saunders and Wilson-Wright add a bit. It takes a little “Cure” sound as the vocals begin. Spearpoint speaks the lyrics at the start and the band is big on quick big riffs and guitar scratches. Wilson-Wright gets to show off some on the bongos before a guitar solo and bass rumble over it. As the song draws towards a close there is some backing vocals for the first time. The track that got me to buy the cd is next in, “Stockholm”. A single guitar plays before the slow tempo on the congas is put down. A few bell chimes before the drums come in and Spearpoint slowly builds up and then takes off. After a run of the verses the guitar, now overdubed with acoustic and electric, adds to the fill. Spearpoint gets a bit more tense and pushes the verses forward. The band responds on the chorus with harmonies. The verses are similar in style and the song just grabs and takes hold of you as Hewison works the electric guitar in to a frenzy, before the bands pulls it back in line allowing for a short, but straightforward solo. We do a verse once more and the song wraps up. A real “Forgotten” track. “I Take You to Sleep” is slow to get started with a lone guitar working off the percussion. After a few seconds the full band comes in and it is big, full and quick. Hewison takes a quick run on the guitar and as the vocals begin it is about as fast as they've been sung so far. At the chorus there is even more urgency. The track “Bruises” opens with a cowbell and a very spacy sounding bass guitar. Even with the effects on the bass it is very melodic. They toss in some crunchy guitar and the vocals are sung a little slower, yet at the same time Spearpoint seems to be singing more. This is one of the longest tracks on the album and the band has a good “jam” towards the end with a lot of congas from Wilson-Wright. “How Much Longer Must We Tolerate Mass Culture” is a short, spacy track with keyboards and bass. There are no vocals on this track and it is over in just over one minute. There are spoken vocal styled delivery on
“Kyphos”. The track is slower with focus on the bass and percussion. The drums sound a little “electric” at times. The song sounds heavily influenced from Joy Division and Ian Curtis. It does get a little more vocally aggressive as the song progresses and Spearpoint seems to soar over the top at times. “Teenage Combo” is a throw away track honestly, 30 seconds is hardly much to do anything with, or about. There is a big bass intro on “Beatlemania”with fun hand claps tossed in. This is another very strong Joy Division influenced track. The bass is the stand out and the guitar has a good run after the verses. “What King of Hell is This?” seems to be the end of the prior track but it is a 40 second track that stands on it's own. There is a lot of potential on this and it would be great if they took this further. The vocals come right up on “American Money” and the work from Crawford on the bass continues to really shine. There is a long and noisy musical section towards the end of this percussion filled romp. We get another 1 minute song in “Missing Parts of Famous People” which, again, is sadly a throw away. Slow to build, “Patchwork Lives” begins and the bass and drums work in unison. It plods along a times and there are a lot of “ooh and ahh” vocals. The music seems to be on a delay, and almost choppy at times. Nature sounds kick off the longest track on the album “Music”. There is a heavy piano bed on this track but it is a slow to build track. It feels like it is ready to burst at times, but the band seems to sit back. It does build and there is even more percussion as it continues. The album wraps up with another short interlude “Exit Body, Exit Mind”. Sort of a down way to end and overall very strong record.

Where are they now? - The band broke up in 1995. The only real resource I've found is a wiki page on what the band is up to. Those can be less than accurate. Based off that the band all appears to be doing something “music” based these days. See the links for the Wiki page.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – Never saw the band live.

FDF Overall Take – I have to say I am impressed. This record is far better than I ever remembered. I really loved the track “Stockholm” but I guess I never paid much more attention. My loss right? Even though the band didn't get lumped in with the “Madchester” scene, if you liked that era in music, you'll dig this record. Track this down.

More about the band on their Wiki Page
Myspace page

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

The longer version

The album is still in print and you can get it


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