Swell Maps A Trip to Marineville / Jane from Occupied Europe

While turning to the late-’70s/early-’80s seems to be all the rage to inspire new bands these days, it’s almost stupefying that no one seems to have namedropped Swell Maps as an influence, or even discover them for that matter. If they haven’t been the source of inspiration for already established bands, these two reissues should arouse a whole new breed of amateurs to start up boisterous experimental garage bands. Based around the creative team of brothers Nikki Sudden and Epic Soundtracks, Swell Maps were underground heroes in their time fusing punk rock, noise pop and experimental rackets in Krautrock patterns to achieve a sound unlike any equal. Secretly Canadian’s reissue of these classics is the first time they’ve been available for a number of years and they’ve done a splendid job gathering the two records, wisely adding bonus tracks to each disc. A Trip to Marineville, their debut, should be up there with their contemporaries like Entertainment! and Metal Box, but for some strange reason it’s never received its dues as a classic. The ramshackle recordings are a radical case from the post-punk era, opting for random bursts of controlled, and a lot of the time, rather harmonious noise instead of disco rhythms. The follow-up, Jane from Occupied Europe, is hard not to label an essential companion. Though it’s a lot more fixed on Kraut-flavoured jamming, it’s none more riveting than its predecessor. Like twins, these two albums are to be loved and experienced together, and they really shouldn’t be separated. Otherwise you’ll miss out on something truly special. (Secretly Canadian)