No One Knows Anyone, Not Really – Rilke
If, dear readers, If, you were to pick up ‘AAAHH Real Records’ latest release, you’d find a beautifully designed black cassette tape, bound in a black strip of paper which bears the following missive by yours truly-
“I know they had a shelf-life shorter than a pint of semi-skimmed, but I miss how they came along, were the loudest thing here, and pissed all over the boundaries of what people thought you could do musically on the Isle of Wight” – Tim Callaghan-Martin (2013)
The band in question were Rilke, a short lived D-Beat project from Shanklin. Imagine morbid hardcore punk with all the knobs and dials turned up to 11. It wasn’t to everyone’s tastes, but they were fun, unique and loud, at a time when the Island music scene needed something volatile and different. I like to use poetic metaphors in my writings. Bulls and china-shops just don’t cut the mustard here though. Plastic explosives in the TV lounge of an OAP home seems like a better analogy.
They were around for 4-5 months, maybe 6 months tops, and managed a handful of incendiary live performances and sessions, chief amongst them a slot at Silkfest and an afternoon set at an Island matinee show that is still cited as the lead cause for an old lady enjoying her roast dinner needing the heimlich maneuver. They also recorded a fair bit of material given their fleeting existence. I can name many bands who’ve been around years and have never once broached the idea of laying tracks down. They managed 5 EP’s of original material, and a split with Max William and James Hunt, which is also well worth checking out for their respective entries.
SO, this little tape I hold before me is their discography, collated into one source. The boys kept the production’s lo-fi. If your wanting something polished, my advice is to look elsewhere. Here’s how the track listing ontape breaks down. Tracks 01 – 04 from The Nightmare Before Christmas (Live Demo), 05 – 07 are from Tergiversate (Live Demo), 08 is an alternate take, recorded in the same sessions as the Acoustic Split that make up 09 – 10 (The aforementioned acoustic split from Rilke/Max William/James Hunt). The tape is largely rounded out with 11-14 being “Live From The Sea Front” (Live Radio Session). The encore numbers kick off at 15, a previously unreleased track called ‘Golgotha’, with the track-listing up to 18 being odds and sods.
This is angry music for angry times. It’s gritty, it’s lo-fi and it’s intense. It takes no prisoners, and I advise you use caution. Tinnitus is a bitch. For all of the distortion though, for me, the standout is ‘Diagnosis pt 1′. The most affecting version of which is the live acoustic session for radio. The chord progression tugs at the heart strings, as Blake’s baritone vocals reflect on a troubling head full of issues. It’s poetic, and its pitch perfect.
The physical release, as mentioned before, comes out on ‘AAAHH! Real Records’, and comes with a batch of goodies including a lyrics sheet/poster, a sticker of artwork, a download link, and a track-by-track breakdown of the recordings. It’s designed by the groups bassist, Richie of Pornography For Cowards, a fantastic zine focusing on the UK south, so it looks and feels the part. It’s a true thing of beauty, and in an age of digital downloads, its awards the purchaser with something more than just a tangible format. Numbers are limited though, and at this time, it looks like there will only be one physical run. It can be acquired digitally at ARR’s bandcamp, or soon on Itunes.