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Monday, August 8, 2011

Rancid Poultry, England (Part 2)

Rancid Riffs. 1985 Land of Yrx
Leyline Lords of the Motorway Web. 1986 Land of Yrx
Midnight Disendowed. 1986 Land of Yrx
* Delicate Creatures. 1986 Land of Yrx
* Rock 'N' Roll Won't Never Die! 1987 Poultry Productions
* Controlled Exposure. 1989 Poultry Productions
* Lungs Full of Lead (2xMC, 1989) Poultry Productions
HTIABR! 1990 Poultry Productions
* Live In Leads (But Steve Doesn't). 1992 Poultry Productions
* Musicide 19??. ???
* Qaotic Pestilgence 1992. Unreleased

Qaotic Pestigence moved to UMR

All released on cassette originally.
* - Are the ones I've personally heard.

This is probably the single largest entry in the CDRWL, if the sole criteria is number of albums not reissued. I first heard of Rancid Poultry via Audion Magazine in the late 1980s, and picked up Controlled Exposure through their Ultima Thule mail order channel not long after it was released. We featured this album a little over a year ago. According to the Freeman's, Controlled Exposure was probably their most accomplished work, and now after having devoured 6 other titles (including a double album), I would have to agree with their original assessment.

As mentioned back in late January, The Alaskan Connection had a few of these on hand as well to share with me. I knew by the sheer volume of releases, and the type of music that Rancid Poultry play, it would take me some time to fully immerse myself into these recordings (I predicted then that it would probably be the summer before I completed them - and here we are). So I've finally finished them all. Whew! Exhausting is the only word I can come up with to describe the experience.

My review for Controlled Exposure basically stated: "Rancid Poultry came out of the 1980s festival scene, but arrived with some influences out of the industrial movement... ...Good raucous space rock - with some interesting screamed vocals." And that more or less describes all the albums listed here. One correction though to my original review: Even though the band came from the festival scene era, I don't believe they were an actual live act performing at the festivals. I could be wrong, but my impression based on reports is they were more of a "city band" who played in and around small clubs in England.

There's a little bit of history on Rancid Poultry from the Land of Yrx page, which gives us insight into their beginnings (go to the bottom of the linked page). I've only heard Delicate Creatures from this phase of the band, but based on that I think I can safely presume the first 3 albums are not going to be for me I'm afraid. This is Rancid Poultry at their most experimental and noisy, with dare I say, a rancid 80's computer drum sound. By the time of Rock 'N' Roll Will Never Die, the band is clearly leaning in a space rock direction, with more emphasis on traditional guitar, bass, drum jamming and less of the keyboard knob twiddling. It's still quite primitive though. After this comes their landmark Controlled Exposure tape, and we hear a group more focused, with actual compositions mixed in with the jams. Lungs Full of Lead is a sprawling mess of industrial, space rock, progressive and experimentalism. If you want to gain the full Rancid Poultry experience, this may be a good introduction, though it can be frustrating for those of us with (admittedly) more narrow tastes. By 1992, Live in Leads demonstrates a much more professional band, though the bootleg quality of the recording itself leaves much to be desired. As for Musicide and Qaotic Pestilence, there's absolutely no data I can find on them, beyond the covers the AC provided me. Based on sound alone, I'd hazard a guess that Musicide comes after Lungs Full of Lead - though again the recording is a bit primitive. But musically very interesting. Of all the albums listed here, Qaotic Pestilence is probably the closest to Controlled Exposure, except there are no vocals here. This may indeed be the most fully realized Rancid Poultry album I've heard to date. I would suspect this to be an early 90's release.

The band continued on as the prpGROUP (Post Rancid Poultry). You can check them out here. It appears this band has also been quite prolific, with a pile of CD-R's and at least one actual CD. More info here. Plus some reviews of the prpGROUP at Aural Innovations. I've not heard any of these albums as of this writing.

Priority: 3


Dave Gate (Land of Yrx) said...

I still have the master tapes to the first four Rancid Poultry cassette releases; but I'm not sure whether I could (or should) do anything with them without an OK from the band.

Sadly I lost touch with them years ago.

Purple Peak Records said...

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the comment! Does the link to the prpGROUP help at all? Maybe you can contact them that way?

Good to hear from you - and thanks for all the great data you have on your website! I remember reading about Land of Yrx in Audion as well. I still have all those old magazine issues.

- Tom

Dave Gate (Land of Yrx) said...

Hi (again) Tom

I will follow that link up, I did hav some contact with Mike from the band via PRPgroup a few years ago, but it sort of slipped.

Ironically this has come at a time when I'm digitally cleaning up old cassettes, including the entire land of Yrx (band and label) archive. You never know, the Rancids themselves might like to hear this stuff cleaned up a bit!

Anonymous said...

the concept of a 'cleaned up' Rancid Riffs is certainly intriguing

Purple Peak Records said...

LOL - good one Anon. Similar to Black Sabbath - it sounds better with a little fuzzball on the record needle.

xylem777 said...

Hi, Alan Freeman at Ultima Thule here. I just secured a deal for limited edition reissues of all the best Poultry Products releases, and some unreleased ones. These are all specially remastered by me and issued as limited numbered CDRs, hand made in the tradition of such products. 3 are just out, see: http://home.btconnect.com/ultimathule/tachyon/poultryproducts/menu.html and you can also buy via Discogs https://www.discogs.com/seller/ultimathulerecords/profile?q=poultry+products
A second batch will be out late October.

Purple Peak Records said...

Thanks Alan for letting us know!