THE DROWNING CRAZE
Singles ’81/’82 BELLA UNION 7/10 Cocteau Twin’s post-punk project surfaces once more
“we loved scratchy guitar like Fire engines and the dub bass of Pil but we never quite got the vocals right,” said Simon raymonde in 2015, the bella Union boss summing up his first band, the drowning Craze, with dead-eye accuracy. having gorged on post-punk gloom behind the counter at the earl’s Court branch of the beggars banquet shop, raymonde’s three singles with the drowning Craze – released on 4ad’s sister label Situation two – are bewitching enough, debut “Storage Case” (with future Pig bagger angela Jaeger on vocals) anticipating how he would showcase elizabeth Fraser’s extraordinary voice once he replaced will heggie in the Cocteau twins. “trance” and “heat”, meanwhile, are workable slabs of bleak, though future My Life with the thrill Kill Kult singer Frankie Nardiello’s impersonation of bauhaus’ Peter Murphy comes across as more Sylvester Sneekly than he’d have hoped. Overall, not unlike trying to revise for your sociology finals at a Siouxsie & the banshees concert.
Extras: 6/10. in addition to the six single sides, there is a first official release for drowning Craze’s lone Peel Session, featuring the unreleased “he was”, “Out Of Order” and “Keep Fit” as well as an even more Pere Ubu take on “heat”.