Welcome to Review Revue, where every Thursday I dig through the KEXP stacks to share DJ reviews and comments written on the covers of LPs (and occasionally CDs) in the ’80s and ’90s, when the station was called KCMU, the DJs were volunteers, and people shared their opinions on little white labels instead of the internet.
Digging into the story behind The Batfish Boys got me pulling up the corner of what seems to be a pretty huge rug, with room for much more exploration than I have time for: The Leeds, UK goth (and goth-adjacent) scene of the '80s. Of course, we all know (or know of) The Sisters of Mercy, but how about The March Violets? Or, of course, The Batfish Boys? The Boys were formed by former Violet Simon Denbigh upon exiting that group (which he later refounded with original members around 2007, but I'm getting ahead of myself). They only released a few albums before splitting up themselves, but they seem to have been quite a promising group — or at least they impressed the socks off of most of the KCMU DJs circa 1987, which is no mean feat. I think the only negative comment I see here is someone commenting that some of the songs here might have been previously released, which is a pretty modest gripe.
It seems the Violets hung it up for good a couple years ago after Si Denbigh suffered a debilitating stroke, but he appears to have recovered at least enough to keep their Facebook page running, so feel free to go say hi and ask what he meant about declaring gasoline as god.
"Ex-March Violets Simon Denbigh heads up this crew. This is their second LP. We have a previous EP. Bloody hell!! This is driving raucous rock and roll. Damn, what pleasant racket."
"The bio claims this is 'for those who declare gasoline as god.' Or at least kerosene."
"'It's like drinking gasoline to quench your thirst . . . until there's nothing left at all.' -S Vega"
"I like 'Justine,' the strawberry girl forever."
"Damn, I'm good! [Ooh, I love it when people write their comments from the point of view of the record in question.] Play me lots. I pretty much rip heavily."
"I believe that some of htis material has been previously released though as imports."
"Why spoil the fun?"
"Yes, this is a rock + roll album. And very well done. 'Love Pig'"
"This is damn good hardish stuff. (Although a few cuts pretty generic.)"
"This should have been called 'Ton of Bricks.'"
"Heavy? Why?" [I'm not sure if this is in response to the previous comment, or questioning why the album was placed in heavy rotation. Alas, nobody responded, despite the fresh blank label just below, so we may never know.]