Friday, July 04, 2008

by Brian Andrew Marek #12

Opal "Happy Nightmare Baby" (1987) + 2





















"Happy Nightmare Baby" is, for my money, the finest hour of the Paisley Underground. David Roback (formerly of the Rain Parade) and Kendra Smith (formerly of the Dream Syndicate) lead you on a journey through the darker side of psychedelia. Chunky T. Rex guitars chop along at languid, drugged tempos while ominous synths (often reminding one of John Paul Jones' psuedo-Eastern arrangements on Led Zep songs like "Friends" and "Kashmir") swoop and dive. Smith's two-feet-in-the-grave deadpan vocals make her sound like the one true heir to Nico. In fact, if pressed to be concise, I'd say that the overall sound of this disc is a perfect, seamless melding of Syd Barrett and the Velvet Underground.

Funnily enough, everything done by this crew before and after "Happy Nightmare Baby", while still a bit trippy, was a great deal mellower, as if this kind of intensity simply couldn't be maintained. "Early Recordings" could be compared to the Cowboy Junkies' "The Trinity Sessions" for its drugged rural ambience, like eating magic mushrooms in a ghost town. After the departure of Kendra Smith, Dave Roback carried on with Hope Sandoval and changed the band's name to Mazzy Star, who, while less critically acclaimed, did manage to bring a taste of the same unsettled bliss to a wider audience.

Here we go again: I'm posting my version (some tracks downloaded many a moon ago, some ripped from my own vinyl) because the one on Rapidshare is purportedly missing a track. I've also thrown on a couple of bonus tracks, taken from contemporary various artist compilations, on which they cover Syd Barrett and the Doors.

BaM

DL

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanka! Bruce

04 July, 2008 22:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently is no longer available for download. Can it be re-upped?

06 July, 2008 03:56  

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