The Shadow Ring - Put The Music In Its Coffin LP
Label: Blank Forms
Release Date: October 6th, 2023
Recorded in summer of 1994 at S.H.P studios (frontman Graham Lambkin's parents' home), the group's sophomore record Put the Music in Its Coffin is a more sinister, saturnine affair than their debut City Lights. From the get-go, the record has a menacing, vile ambience. Its opening track "Horse-Meat Cakes," inspired by an anecdote by pulp author Philip K. Dick about how he and his wife subsisted off low-grade pet food when he first arrived in San Francisco, sets the tone lyrically and sonically. Subsequent tracks are filled with Rabelaisian body horror and sinewy, haptic diction. "I try to pass out vital organs, convinced that they are waste," intones Lambkin in "Heart, Liver & Lungs," before a chorus of detuned guitars kicks in, nearly drowning out the speaker's account of consuming chevaline intestines. Later songs similarly detail vernacular cooking ("Caribbean Porridge," about a cornmeal hangover cure), bodily processes ("Nocturnal Middle Rumbles," about nighttime defecation), and creaturely conflict ("Crystal Tears" and "Spin The Animal Dial").