Alien Brains - Menial Disorders (40th Anniversary Edition) [Klanggalerie - 2021]
Originally released back in 1980 Menial Disorders was the first sonic statement from UK based Industrial and experimental electro collective Alien Brains. And it’s certainly a free-flowing, largely abstract, very oppressive and at points fittingly otherworldly blend of cluttering electro texturing, broodingly grey droning scapes, and grim feedback. Think a less shaped/ defined Throbbing Gristle meets a more lose/ hazed Chrome, and you’ll get an idea of what to expect.
Here from the folks at Klanggalerie is a CD release of the album- with this CD taking in a whopping runtime of seventy-seven minutes. The 40th Anniversary Edition CD comes in a jewel case, taking in black, grey-silver colour scheme- it also features an eight-page inlay booklet, taking in a write-up about the album, and the project themselves.
Alien Brains were formed in 1979 when school friends from Oundle near Peterborough decided to form a project. It lasted until 1982 within all Alien Brains releasing seven full-length releases. Menial Disorders originally appeared as a C90 on Deleted Records, and it’s a release that’s on the cusp of jam-like early industrial and early noise-scaping- with many of the tracks having a very loose/ barely hanging together feel.
The CD takes in twenty-three tracks in all, but it all very much bleeds and shifts into itself to create a sliding 'n' slugging seventy-seven-minute ride. It moves from blends hacking ‘n’ churning electro texturing, which is underfed by lose greyed ambient. Onto jerking and bobbing electro pulse and drifting tape elements. Through to grey and oppressive droning, with clunking machine edges. Onto wondering may-once-punk bass tones blended with looped noise and abstract electro texturing. It’s an extremely primal and crude record, that really doesn't offer up an easy ride- in any sense.
It’s great to see Klanggalerie uncovering and reissuing this early example of industrial/ early slurred noise making- and you'll need to really enjoy the more abstract/ noise bound side of 80’s experimental music to fully enjoy this. If you are in the mood for something that sits’s somewhere between very warped industrial, spaced-out electro grimness, and the grey abstract this will most certainly fulfil your needs.Roger Batty