Brand New Life
by Young Marble Giants (Colossal Youth, 1980)
Being one of Kurt Cobain's favourite bands should get a group some kind of public recognition, but it wasn't until the Domino re-issue of the Welsh three-piece's only album in 2007 was there enough momentum to play live again after almost 20 years. In 2004 BBC Radio Wales produced a documentary on the band while the likes of Adam Green, Belle & Sebastian and Galaxie 500 have covered them. Moxham, Moxham and Statton joined forces in 1978 and went their separate way just two years later citing creative differences and personal tensions, but in that short time they created a body of work as influential and distinct as any.
Listen to YMG and the steady tick-tocking of a pre-recorded electronic beat on 'Brand New Life' is as close to drums as you'll get. Cold, clinical guitars drive the song forward, sometimes with a sharp, jagged edge and at other times as a blunt, percussive motor. Alison Statton's charmingly flat vocals distantly follow the rhythm with nonchalance backed by the brothers' every now and then. The overriding sound is empty, but good-empty. Less is more. An adage adhered to by Young Marble Giants to startling effect.