Kitchen & The Plastic Spoons / Belaboris :: Double review (Dark Entries)

This archaeological imprint has once again dived into the past only to resurface with a spread of obscure female outfits from across the world.

Dark Entries have decided to celebrate Women’s History Month with a twist. This archaeological imprint has once again dived into the past only to resurface with a spread of obscure female outfits from across the world. The project is launched with Kitchen & The Plastic Spoons.

The Swedish group were active in the early eighties. Their brand of raw post punk courses with an unrefined passion as featured on Screams To God. “In Bars” opens, a jittery jumping track that hops from its musical tracks. The pace across the LP is fast, quickening beats are slowed by synth warbles in “Happy Funeral” while “Icecream” is a quirky work of synth stabs, strings and strung out vocals. “(-)” is a weirded-out instrumental number. Tweaks, twangs and pangs boiled together into a viscous brew. “Pajazzo” sees more of a Minimal Synth aspect enter. Machine and human sounds are peeled back for vocals to dominate. “Liberty” resurrects the steely eyed post punk bravado with female and male vocals intertwining for the madness descent of “Poet.” The haziness of “Filmen” closes. Guttural guitars colliding into swimming synths and throaty lyrics.

DE stays in Northern Europe, following Kitchen & Plastic Spoons with Belaboris. The female group took their name from a combination of Bela Legosi and Boris Karloff, sort of in the Holden Caulfield vein. From the outset this Finnish quintet set the tone electronic. Fast paced drum patterns are juxtaposed with a contemporary synth melody for “Kuolleet Peilit.” There’s a driving pop to the girl group, meandering guitar solos of “Odotus” and a overall sunny disposition that characterizes the LP. Belaboris take aspects of 70s American Rock and melt them with a New Wave chirpiness. There even seems to be elements of Italo coming into their pieces, such as the silliness of “Baby Pop.” “Monsteribaari” is a piece of pure synth quality. Reverberating synths support full bodied vocals and a crisp and catching melody, all driving forward by a relentless snare. Synths continue to govern with “Mitä Lapsille Tapahtui” before the album looks at some demo workings. The finale comes in the form of the lilting lament of “Rakkauden Jälkeen,” a slow movie score tear-jerker to close.

Electronics and post punk have always been a male dominated arena. Look through your records, it’s fairly self-evident. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, the excellent Anne Clark for example or the boy-girl groupings of the likes Yazoo. But, face it, the world of synthesizers and guitars has been one of men. It’s interesting to see what female outfits did, and achieved, in such a testosterone filled field. The final installment in this trio of female focused forays is due to land soon. An intriguing investigation and clever project from Dark Entries.

Both releases are available on Dark Entries.

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