The intrepid crate diggers at Hyped to Death visit the church sales and second hand stores of Britain’s south coast to document a scene that was almost unheard of even when it was going on. Messthetics 108 does the usual quality job of gathering photos, cassette covers, ticket stubs and quotes from contemporaries, as well as 24 tracks. I reviewed the album, which is very diverting, for Dusted today, and said:
“A complete lack of support — from the music press, labels, local institutions and damned near everyone else — enabled this South Coast scene to develop in distinctive ways. Women played a large part in many of these bands. A strong thread of pop melodicism ran through much of the music, juxtaposed with dark, even disturbing lyrical imagery. DIY to the point of amateurism was fetishized, to the point where one of the scene’s best loved bands, Mike Malignant and the Parasites, was unable to play its songs twice in the same way. The guitarist and bass players simply improvised, in bizarre, shapeless riffs that changed every time. (The drummer, just to mix things up, was technically very skilled and a bit of a child prodigy.) A common way of getting gigs was to jump on stage when another band was playing, grab their instruments and perform until a fight broke out.”
There’s more here.
Also check out the streamable and downloadable mp3s here.