Tayside Mental Health ‘evil hands are happy hands’ (contaminated). If we were to say bluuuuaaaaarggghhhh, arrrrgggghhh, muuuurrrrgggghhhh and yyyyaaarrrrgggghhhh we’d have the ever so slightly and sneaky feeling that Tayside Mental Health and their adoring minions would know exactly what we were talking about. Since looming large on our radar like a life sucking black hole one snow swept afternoon in February of this year, we’ve been most fascinated, perplexed and indeed have grown a tad fond of these cute-some noise nik types. In fact our fondness has grown ever more since Claire from the band sent over a wad of releases which despite going astray on at least two occasions we were holding back deliberately in order to do an extended mention when both their current and forthcoming Scotch Tapes outings surfaced in our gaff. Alas impatience has got the better of us so we’ve decided to split up and sneak these releases (there‘s five of them all told) into forthcoming singled out despaching mainly for three reasons – firstly – it would be plainly suicidal to mention them all in one go given you’d have to sit through them all in one block listening – not that we’d complain – in fact we have on occasion done just that – but hey blood seeping out of ears is not a good look. Secondly – well in truth this lot are the bollocks and well – you need them in your life – so the more you ignore the more we’ll mention them – simple as that – I will succeed. And lastly – Al over at Scotch Tapes has promised to send over the aforementioned releases (more about them later) so hopefully by the time we’re through with mentioning these then there’ll be new ear gear with which to trash and terrorise our turntable. Any questions then? Possessed of that same unrelenting skin peeling aural atrocity as vented these days by releases with the name Kylie Minoise tattooed to their arses, Tayside Mental Health are extreme beyond imagination, yet scratch away and remove them of their volcanic veneer and caustic coating and you get the feeling that for all their fondness of laboratory images, trepanning rituals and horror loving grimness that deep at their core there’s an impish playfulness that sets them aside from the brutal dichotomy of their fellow sound experimentalists. And its to this end ultimately that make Tayside Mental Health a more accessible option for the entry level newbie listener to the hidden sonic spectrum that is noise. This particular release has been out a fair while now- not sure how limited it is but it’s a seven track slab of brutality all pressed up on a dinky 3 inch CD via Contaminated records (we believe – though we’ve checked on the labels site and can’t find any mention of it – so basically expect a correction note at some point in the not to distant future). As said seven cuts – total duration just shy of 13 minutes in total with the Tayside ones seemingly at the height of their caustic powers applying their uniquely scalded brand of mutant white noise spiked techno. ’the lovely pony theme’ opens proceedings – just barely making its presence felt by tipping the scales at 16 seconds in length, don’t be fooled by the cute and fluffy title this is liable to give adults recurring nightmares let alone youngsters mistakenly lulled by its tame and attractive title. We here are thinking the pony in question never survived whatever trials it was subjected to. Next up ’le chic spastique’ – I feel a new dance craze coming on – is jarring and unforgiving, a bit like a brutal spot of fisticuffs between a particularly fucked off Atari Teenage Riot and a clearly lost the plot Melt Banana, all nailed amid a festering tide of squealing sonic shards and battery acid dipped calibrations. Then comes the mildly worryingly titled ‘diary of a donkey fucker’ – which I’m told is an activity positively encouraged in certain parts of the country – the diary bit that is – does indeed have donkey sounds about its wares you’ll be happy to know, you people have such sadistic tendencies, mind you the donkey in question sounds as though he or she has a car horn lodged tight in its throat – as to the sounds well aside quite barking to say the least, it’s a grim slab of austere and ominous drum n’ bass spiked with moment of piercing power electronic belches – not quite the recommended musical mood listening for a Sunday gathering of family and friends unless of course your friends happen to be the Manson family who you’ve invited around for a quick game of murder in the dark. ’I spy with my third eye’ where do these whippersnappers get their titles from – very Cravats / TV Personalities – more than can be said about the macabre musings emanating from within, best viewed in daylight with the national grid at full pelt powering every known light in the land – an abattoir of Dadaist entertainment – we here are thinking Dead Kennedy’s being re-wired by X with Coil buggering up resulting carnage and applying their dread filled handiwork. ’touchers of the cloth’ provides the sets best moment – some tasty native intones, overall its uncomfortable listening – in fact can we just call it evil for arguments sake and leave it at that. As to those aforementioned Scotch Tapes / frequent sea releases – one is an ultra limited – and no doubt sold out by now – collaboration with Blood Moon – only 37 of these we believe entitled ’mental side of the moon’ while the other – a split with Endometrium Cuntplow pressed up on seven inches of pink wax. Treats abound I shouldn’t wonder.
first published – August 5th, 2009