Crispy Ambulance - Scissorgun

(DRL126: 708527012628)
Release date: 04/01/2002
Genre: Rock, Prog.

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Former Factory Records band Crispy Ambulance have recorded a superb album of all-new material titled Scissorgun. The ten tracks were recorded in with producer Graham Massey, a long-term band associate, whose previous credits include 808 State, Bjork, Blue Pearl and Biting Tongues.

Throughout their short recording career, Manchester band Crispy Ambulance were unjustly dismissed as sub-standard Joy Division plagiarists, notable only as proof that Factory was as fallible as any other label. The truth is very different, for as their Factory Benelux recordings unarguably prove, Crispy Ambulance were perhaps the most maligned and undervalued band of their time. Joy Division actually brought Crispy Ambulance to Factory.

From Manchester (UK), Crispy Ambulance were first active during the post-punk era in 1978. Close associates of the Factory-Joy Division stable, they released four singles before their classic debut album The Plateau Phase in 1982. As well as two archive CDs, the band have also released Accessory After the Fact, a live set which documents their triumphant reunion show in Manchester in November 1999. Their back catalogue is available on LTM via Darla.

Scissorgun was written during the last six months of 2001, and once again sees the Crispies sounding like no other band on the planet. The music ranges from the majestic alt.rock of "Step Up!", "Heatwave" and "End Game" to more austere terrain "Re-Animator" and the groove-based Moog loop of "Even Now In Heaven…" Scissorgun is a record that's timeless, powerful and even occasionally menacing, full of surprises and subtle twists in direction. A revelation!

Crispy Ambulance are at the same time both minor note, cult band and an art/prog rock icon who inhabit an enormous and uniquely individual sonic mood-scape. The Joy Division influence is undeniable only insofar as Crispy Ambulance too are haunting, aggressive, and transcend both time & trend in similar fashion. Crispy Ambulance have always confounded the listener with a sound that is at once post punk and Pink Floyd. It is a sound and a delivery so intensely moody, and so powerful, one can liken it to a rich chocolate cake served with a double espresso. You can't have them all the time, or too late at night, not if you want to avoid intense dreams and an altered state of consciousness; but sometimes there's absolutely nothing better. Sometimes no other sensory pleasure is so exciting or so satisfying and you wish it were good for you so you could have it three times a day.

Now, as then, Crispy Ambulance comprises: Alan Hempsall (vocals), Gary Madeley (Drums), Keith Darbyshire (bass), and Robert Davenport (guitar).

"Phasers on stun! A brilliant album - the best since 23 Skidoo's Seven Songs. We are being spoiled" (Sounds, March 1982)

"Here was a band that had a vision all of its own without any help from the rest of the pack… Long before Manchester crawled back into flared trousers, Crispy Ambulance were busily painting their city black with urban mood music" (NME, July 1990)

Recommended if you like: Joy Division, Killing Joke, Magazine, Hawkwind.

1. Step Up!
2. Loupgarou
3. Metal Grey
4. Re-Animator
5. Heatwave
6. Parallax
7. The Drop
8. End Game
9. Even Now, In Heaven There Are Angels Carrying Savage Weapons
10. Sound Block

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