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Tamam Shud - Eight Years Of Moonlight CD (album) cover

EIGHT YEARS OF MOONLIGHT

Tamam Shud

 

Crossover Prog

2.27 | 2 ratings

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sl75
2 stars It looks like Tamam Shud are going to turn up with new recordings every 22 years (Morning of the Earth 1972, Permanent Culture 1994, Eight Years of Moonlight 2016). This new album sees the reformation of the Permanent Culture lineup (or, if you prefer, the Goolutionites lineup with Macara replacing Davidson). Released in the currently trendy format of vinyl with a digital download available to purchasers (but no CD release), and apparently limited to 500 copies.

Bjerre writes all the songs this time, and he's gone for a sort of psychedelic/grunge/indie-ish approach, driven largely by his own guitar and Barron's increasingly heavy bass - it sounds much like the kind of music I used to hear on RRR 20 years ago. Gaze is around, but rarely sounds like himself (even though we know from other recent releases, eg Spectrum's Breathing Space EP, that he still can play the old way) - instead of the speedy bluesy runs of old, we get long-lined atmospheric psych leads. That old line about how 'the vocal of the Shud is incidental'? Bjerre seems to have returned to that approach, as his vocals are kept low in the mix - not necessarily a bad thing, since the evidence is that his singing hasn't improved since Permanent Culture - but it means the lyrics are largely unintelligible. One thing I found interesting - Tamam Shud have always been associated with surf culture in Australia, even though their music wasn't what anyone usually thinks of as surf music. It seems they now want to embrace the surf label, as this album includes their most self-conscious references to old-style surf-rock on the instrumental "Outer Reef", and to a lesser extent "Broken Chair" - albeit still with that grungy-psych edge.

If you thought Evolution was the best thing they ever did, then you'll probably enjoy this - some of the writing is very reminiscent of that album, though with a much heavier/noisier production this time around. If, like me, you preferred their work around the time of Morning of the Earth, then you'll find this album rather disappointing.

sl75 | 2/5 |

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