New War : New War
When the first shots of World War I rang out, many in the British high command assumed that war could be won simply on the basis of ‘acts of character’ – no matter the strategic failings, the tactical blunders and demoralising conditions. What the commanding officers failed to realise – until millions had died, and the landscapes of northern France and Belgium were decimated – was that this was a new breed of war, where the character of the infantry was no match for the incessant power of artillery barrage.
New War isn’t necessarily a new breed of electronic rhythmic attack – you could argue the progenitors of the Krautrock sound were commanding this space 40 years ago – but there’s no doubting the power of the New War attack. Game Of Love transforms the mythology of romance into a field of psychological warfare where only the promise of light can diminish the temptation of darkness. On Revealer, the spectre of Gang Of Four hangs in the air like a swinging light bulb in an interrogation room; Ghostwalking is comparatively ethereal, a post-new wave excursion where nothing might need what it seems. The spoken word poetic imagery of Felt Like A Memory brings with it memories of Allen Ginsburg; Slim Dandy is emphatic and dirty in an electronic Nick the Stripper sort-of-way; an angry man rebelling against the multiple of inadequacies of the world around him.
On Calling From The Inside, New War finds temporary contentment in a sea of enchanting beats and distant psychedelic affectations; seven minutes later and you’re swept up into a mesmerising cause that promises to take you to places your subconscious could only dream of. Black Site Cantos is the brutally ugly side of the Dumb Earth’s jazz trip; the crescendo of Wishlist is tempting, if not completely satisfying.
On the eight-minute finale of Josef’s Hands, New War is well and truly in its element. Taking no prisoners in its quest to explore the margins of Public Image Ltd’s post-punk attitude. It’s intense, invigorating and compelling – just like war was once portrayed, but never really was.
BY PATRICK EMERY
Best Track: Slim Dandy
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: HARMONIA, BATTLES, GANG OF FOUR, PUBLIC IMAGE LTD., MY DISCO
In A Word: Rhythmic