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Boomkat Product Review:
Drag City open a portal to the nocturnal activities of late '70s/early '80s Manchester with this issue of a previously unreleased LP by Buzzcocks' Pete Shelley and pals. Originally intended for release on Groovy Records - home to Shelley's 'Sky Yen' LP and more by Free Agents (Eric Random) and Sally Smmit And Her Musicians (Sally Timms) - 'Strange Men In Sheds With Spanners' is essentially Shelley and his circadian cycle including Barry Adamson and Eric Random fannying around with tape loops and feedback, f**king off any poppiness and improvising on pure, raw instinct. The revelatory results range from genuinely far-out tape mutilations to more melodic, Kraut-ish disco jams, some recalling Throbbing Gristle or Maurizio Bianchi at their most slaughtered, others to be filed alongside Fripp & Eno's 'No Pussyfooting', George Harrison's 'Electronic Sounds' or other experimental forays by Rock 'N Roll types. Beats and rhythms are largely kept stringently minimal and err, Groovy, while the undisclosed members explore the limits of their equipment, locking into hypnotic, mazy swirls of overdriven FX and sculpted feedback with a tangibly "hands-on" tactility, evidently relishing this outlet for more primitive inclinations. A proper headf**ker in the best sense.