Death In June & Boyd Rice - Scorpion Wind [Nerus - 2008]This is a reissue of a collaboration from 1996 that shows both parties on fine form collaborating well together to give an album of tuneful and hypnotic neo folk/ dark pop with creative touches of easy listening, jazz and sound elements.
Boyd Rice takes on lead vocal duties for most part- really taking his descriptive and worldly texts in his often softly spoken american tones- that for some reason rather reminds me of Moby. Under which Douglas p and John Murphy supply backing and ltd lead vocals along guitars, keyboards, string arrangements, percussion and tapes with some really lovely trumpet playing of Campbell Finley here and there thorough out the later tracks. On the first play or so the album seems quite hypnotic and mellow but over repeated listeners it darkens, as you pick-up Rice’s doomy if in places tongue-in-cheek spoken word texts, along with the creative sound production that litters interesting noise and sound elements through out the songs.
A few key moments in my mind come in the form of In Vino Vertias which starts with the great spoken word text “won’t someone pour me another martini, to sip while Rome is on fire, so wont someone pour me another martini and we’ll toast the worlds funeral Pyre” before dropping into a dense and tuneful mix of strummed guitar,violin, tabular like percussion, layered taped voices, growls and of course with Rice’s texts. Or the track Never with it’s tuneful if doomy Hammond organ like classy strut meets strummed acoustic guitars, with layered vocals saying “never” over and over as which Rice adds his spoken word elements. A fine example neo folk meets gloomy pop
On the whole a consistent and rewarding collaboration, that I can see appealing beyond the normal Neo folk crowd with its wordy texts and it's jazzy, pop and creative sound edges.Roger Batty