Sunday, June 3, 2012

"Lined Up" By Shriekback

I've been checking out this cool track by British post-punk dance band Shriekback called "Lined Up." It's a sick cut and is quite addicting. It has a mysterious, hypnotic groove with an indelible slap bass line. The song was released back in 1983, and it still sounds as fresh and original as it did when it first came out. Abstract keyboard sounds waft through the groove, and the band members sing the cryptic lyrics in haunting unison. The track creates a dark, desolate atmosphere that draws you in. When I first heard the track, the words "swamp funk" immediately sprung to mind. For some reason, the groove always makes me think of someone crawling through the swamp.

"Lined Up" is from Shriekback's debut LP Care (1983). It's one of the band's better-known tracks and was a minor hit in the U.S. and reached number 39 on the Australian ARIA charts. Shriekback was originally formed in North London by Barry Andrews (keyboards/synthesizers/vocals) and Dave Allen (bass). Andrews had previously been a member of both XTC and the League of Gentlemen. Allen was formerly a member of Gang of Four. Shriekback soon expanded into a trio with the addition of Carl Marsh (guitars/vocals), who was previously a member of the band Out on Blue Six.

Shriekback was known for their unique, unconventional sound that melded synthesizers and drum machines with heavy bass lines and eccentric vocals. The band scored several hits on the UK Indie Chart. Over the years, Shriekback has disbanded and reformed a number of times and went for a seven-year period in the '90s in which they didn't release any new material. In 2010, the band released the ablum Life In The Loading Bay, which was met with mostly positive reviews from music critics.

Purchase Care on Vinyl at Amazon

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