Alma Mater is the first and only album by cult Manchester group Stockholm Monsters, originally released by Factory Records in 1984 as Fact 80.
Produced by Peter Hook of Joy Division/New Order, the Monsters offered boisterous post-punk indiepop, somewhat akin to The Pale Fountains, or a sinister Smiths. "It's a great British album that's worthy of reappraisal," said mixer/deejay Andrew Weatherall in 2016. "People didn't pay them as much attention as they should have done. My favourite track is Decalogue. I just love that raw drum machine - it goes back to listening to Suicide."
Remastered from the original session tapes, the CD also includes nine bonus tracks as well as detailed sleevenotes, with the original Trevor Johnson artwork faithfully reproduced.
2. Where I Belong
5. Five O'Clock
6. Life's Two Faces
7. Your Uniform
8. Edgar Wallace
9. To Look At Her
10. Something's Got To Give
11. All At Once
12. National Pastime
13. Militia (from Fac 146)
14. Kan Kill! (7" version)
15. How Corrupt Is Rough Trade? (7" version)
16. Partylive (from Fac 146)
17. Stupid (1987 demo)
18. Your Uniform (not segued)
19. Life's Two Faces (not segued)
"Should have been the Monsters' breakout platter. Though it was never released as a single, Where I Belong would indeed have been a natural" (Washington City Paper, 06/2002)
"A band at ease with their abilities to make a telling - and unashamed - pop album... It's steeped in presence, with tracks like Terror (bright and breezy, despite the title), Where I Belong and Winter (check out that growling bassline!) exercises in clear-headed accessibility" (Whisperin' & Hollerin', 04/2002)
"Alma Mater was a triumph, and has for years been up there in my catalogue of the greatest albums ever made - more of their glorious merging of body-shaking, oddly nervous rhythm and soul" (Tangents, 04/2002)
"A powerful record, Alma Mater is atmospheric, bass-heavy and geared to the group's highly melodic and dark poetic wanderings" (Melody Maker, 1984)
"It's a long way from Sweden, but once their horns are in riotous rein and the grinding guitars reach overdrive, the Stockholm Monsters will support the healthy fears of the Factory faithful" (NME, 1984)
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