Normil Hawaiians - More Wealth Than Money 2xLP
Label: Upset The Rhythm
Upset The Rhythm present a reissue of Normil Hawaiians' debut album More Wealth Than Money, originally released in 1982 on Illuminated Records. Normil Hawaiians had a transformative 1982. With two 7" singles and a 12" EP under their belts, they suddenly found themselves disillusioned, so they forced the hand of change. The band's true constant in Guy Smith soon found himself with a new crew of musicians: Simon Marchant, Noel Blanden and Mark Tyler. Normil Hawaiians' communal take on post punk quickly sprouted and began carving out a new furrow. Greater emphasis was awarded to group improvisations, resulting in longer, freer journeys; Tape loops, echo boxes, extended percussive sessions and duteous faith in the tones emanating from a particular old wah-wah pedal were all employed by Normil Hawaiians to stretch their sonic fabric into wild and redolent new dimensions. Normil Hawaiians booked into Foel Studios and Dave Anderson (Hawkwind, Amon Duul II) managed and engineered. Anderson even joined in on bass for several of those sessions. Normil Hawaiians lived together in a small cottage in the studio's shadow, sharing everything together and working long days. This is how the band's debut album More Wealth Than Money was formed, through trial and close listening, through cultivation and patient growth. Of course there were significant amounts of mushrooms involved too and several UFO sightings. More Wealth Than Money proved a vastly ambitious debut album, sprawling in a way that still feels expansive, brave, cinematic even. From the plaintive pastoralism of "British Warm" to the transcendental vistas of "Other Ways Of Knowing", the album constantly surprises with its ringing trails of guitar, motorik pulse and synth rambles. Guy Smith's vocal floats through the album in a haunting manner. Described by the press upon its release in 1982 as an "absolutely mesmerising double album travelling through progressive rock, via industrial folk to freaky art-punk whilst sounding delightfully coherent" and "a huge slab of mindblowing dark psychedelia," the album was critically acknowledged for its peculiarly British kosmische. It's curious that More Wealth Than Money never came out officially in the UK. The band's label Illuminated Records were temporarily blacklisted by their distributor because of unpaid debts and so the album was only available from the band at concerts within the UK.