2016 finds the Dead Rabbits on the cusp of releasing a new, eagerly anticipated LP.
It is perhaps only fitting then that Fuzz Club Records, close that circle with this repress of their 2013 debut, The Ticket That Exploded.
I was beyond stoked, to obtain a copy of the limited edition first press on vinyl. The collaborative artwork by Olya Dyer & Casper Dee, recreating a sleeve and picture disc, in the guise of a recording tape reel, is a stroke of genius.
The vinyl experience, has seldom been more tangibly tactile and visually stimulating, from recording to aural delivery, encapsulated in one gloriously realised package.
The album borrows it’s title from the Willian S. Burroughs novel, which forms part of a trilogy along with ‘The Soft Machine’ and ‘Nova Express’. Burroughs’ ‘The Ticket That Exploded’, is an anarchic tale on mind control utilising psychic, electronic, sexual, pharmaceutical, subliminal and other means.
The novel goes some way to explaining Burroughs’ idea of language as a virus and his philosophy of the cut-up technique. A harbinger for Burroughs’ firebrand take, on social revolution via technology.
The Southampton based quintet, comprising Thomas Hayes (Guitar/Vocals), Neil Atkinson Jr (Guitar), Suzanne Sims (Drums), Paul Seymour (Keys) and Colin Fox (Bass), wear their broad range of influences well, they sagely list their chosen “genre” as music.
Opening to imperious, measured tones, ‘Heavenly Way’, is a reverb drenched widescreen vista, it’s destiny attention pulling focus, is an epically layered delight; ‘Pulling The Trigger’, is a kaleidoscopic, hurdy-gurdy drone maelstrom, a three minute, dark operetta on truth and belief; ‘MMB’, is hauntingly sonorous, a first full flush of knowing awareness; ‘Never Fall’, is a searching, anthemic, fate tinged ballad; ‘Before I’m Too Late’, is a soul soaring, cacophonous celebration.
Side two opener, ‘It’s All In Her Head’, is a crushing live anthem, the tribal grandeur, guaranteed to induce goosebumps, every single time, if Joy Division had recorded a sequel to ‘She’s Lost Control’, they’d have been doing well, to get anywhere near as good as this one; ‘When I’m Blue’, envelops with cosseting, ascendent glacial abandon; ‘It’s You’, is a supermassive drone symphony, tumbling in rapturous waves, of passion-filled delirium; Album closer, ‘Keep Me Warm’, revels in halcyon washes of transparency, radiating in the afterglow.
I had almost forgotten, just how fantastic The Ticket That Exploded was as an entity. The beauty in a re-press, lies in the reciprocity of reacquaintance. The technique of partially live recording this album, lends a weight and honestly, that truly captures the elemental force of the live experience. Holistically, The Ticket That Exploded bears testament to the dizzying talent that is the Dead Rabbits.
The Ticket That Exploded is now available in standard and deluxe editions which are exclusive to the Fuzz Club store. Standard edition is 180g heavy black vinyl, the Deluxe edition is 180g transparent red vinyl with gatefold cover, featuring a hand-drawn illustration of the band by Olya Dyer of The Underground Youth. Also available on CD and cassette.
I was gutted when 2014 follow-up album, ‘TimeIsYourOnlyEnemy’ coincided with a time of unwelcome impoverishment, a glaring omission from my vinyl catalogue – hopefully Fuzz Club have their eye on a re-issue of that one too!