Psychic TV - Allegory & Self LP
Label: Sacred Bones
Allegory & Self was released originally in 1988 and marks the end of an era for Psychic TV as this would be the final recording to feature founding member Alex Fergusson. Shortly after the release of this album, ringleader Genesis P-Orridge would shift gears away from the melodic, alternative pop numbers found on Allegory & Self and Dreams Less Sweet and dive deep into British rave culture through the Jack The Tab series and Toward The Infinite Beat.
Few would ever say that P-Orridge has ever been a decent singer. Yet, with charisma, quixotic charm and profound confidence, P-Orridge molded the conventional ideas of '60s rock and '80s new wave into an enchanting chimera on Allegory & Self, balanced with experiments in free-form / out-rock strategies. The opening track "Godstar" announces it being a tale about the Rolling Stones' Brian Jones, tying his fascination with the occult and psychedelics to his death in an uptempo, jangling tune complete with harmonizing vocals and downright catchy pop riffs. "Godstar" along with "Baby Gone Away" and "Just Like Arcadia" may have been gambits to seduce a broader audience; the rest of Allegory & Self was designed to work against what was perceived as a commercially successful product. P-Orridge guides each of his songs with hermetic references that snap neatly into the vast mythologies that he's laid out for Psychic TV complete howling wolves, diabolical incantations and svengali detachment. The darkly hypnotic numbers such as "Starlite Mire" and "Ballet Disco" with their mechanical cut-ups into rhythmic sequences find PTV returning to an industrial aesthetic, before turning back to their self-described 'hyperdelic' sound. Fans of The Fall, Julian Cope and Public Image Limited will certainly find plenty in Allegory & Self to embrace.
Newly remastered and reissued on vinyl for the first time since the late '80s.