Boomkat Product Review:
First vinyl edition of HTRK’s cult early live recording, made at London’s Corsica Studios in 2008, documenting the original trio of Jonine Standish, Sean Stewart (R.I.P.), and Nigel Yang at their gloriously downbeat and funereal best.
Previously only available as a download, the live show was self-released by HTRK on the first anniversary of the death of Sean Stewart (✝18.03.10), It renders a definitive early portrait of the group, just before they broke into a wider conciseness with ‘Marry Me, Tonight’ for Blast First Petite a year later.
As such, it captures their raw, sophisticated angst bleeding out between the sluggish lurch of ‘Look What’s Been Done’, the prurient swerve of ‘Panties’ and their VU-channelling dirge, ‘Kiss Before The Fall’, all in sequence with deathrock crawl of ‘Waltz Real Slow’,the knackered drum machines of ‘Fascinator’, and the asphyxiating heaviness of ‘I’m All Broke Up’, all delivered mantra-like and detectably under the influence of something stronger than a cup of tea.
The performance was in support of Lydia Lunch, and the following passage gives some flavour of the atmosphere: “The entire night was filmed by Meerak Meinohg from the foot of the stage, resulting in a suitably fucked-up fidelity. This was a memorable night of attraction and repulsion in the concrete warehouse surrounds of Corsica Studios. Lydia put on an incredibly divisive show, forcing a visible split - the straight guys either retreated to the bar or left the venue, leaving the queers and femmes transfixed at the front, kissing her feet! HTRK's typically dimly lit show rendered the film footage totally unwatchable, but the audio stands alone and is here deemed worthy of release by the band. The sound, by turns, is shadowy, tough and twisted, with the trio high as kites. If you know the songs, you will love this set."