gullbuy music review


The Homosexuals CD


Morphius Archives


The Homosexuals CD coverThe Homosexuals knock around the same musical terrain as Subway Sect, Fàshiön, The Feelies, The Age of Change, or The Cure's first singles. Unlike The Cure, The Homosexuals stayed underground, and didn't even get their 1978 debut album released until 1984. By that time the band no longer existed.

The Homosexuals were a pop band, though their pop was not melodic or singsong. They used clean guitars without effects, and odd rhythms, with very English vocals.

The Homosexuals surely influenced later bands such as Josef K, The Door and The Window, Fire Engines and Big Flame, as well as bands on the Ron Johnson Records label.

The French band KG from the late 90s had the same wild abandon as The Homosexuals. A brand new band that bears a bit of their sound is Uter on the Tigersushi label. His 'Tomorrow's Clowns' 12inch is really good.

You could also say that The Homosexuals also influenced the shoegazer sound of heavy reverb guitar washes. Many of the songs have the same type of feel as classic My Bloody Valentine or Swirlies. The major difference is that The Homosexuals didn't stick to any one sound long enough to get a solid groove, and the recordings are real rough. Most of their songs are very short too.

What we have today is a brand new US release CD compiled (to quote the liner notes) "by Chris Cutler (he also compiled their LP) from the surviving masters, about a dozen of them, with a free hand from the group for whom, in 1984, they were already ancient history. "

The CD has all 16 songs from the LP, plus 5 bonus tracks. All the bonus tracks are very interesting. Not one is a toss off or rescued live tape. The disc is a solid buy!

  1. My Night Out
  2. Technique Street
  3. Vociferous Slam
  4. Soft South Africans (Slow)
  5. Neutron Lover
  6. Million Keys
  7. Naming of Parts
  8. Kiss With Venom
  9. Divorce Proceeding(s) From Reality
    The background vocals remind me of The Bewley Brothers from David bowie's 'The Man Who Sold The World' LP.
  10. Hearts in Exile
    Sparse sounding music backs what is basically a pop song, though pop like you have not heard.
  11. All About Cheap
    The rhythm section is playing like it is a dub reggae track, but the guitar and vocals are the odd type of thing The Homosexuals excelled at.
  12. Soft South Africans (Fast)
    Sharply strummed guitar right out of The Kinks / Billy Childish songbook. this song reminds me of Fàshiön. It is a great track with lots of sharp ends.
  13. False Sentiments
  14. Mecho Madness
    Goofy vocal effects and a sound empty enough to drive a truck through does not stop this track from being a fave.
  15. Astral Glamour
  16. Birds Have Risen
    Extra tracks
  17. Collapsible You
    The guitar has the same type of riffing as on Soft South Africans. The laziness of the track makes the riffing sound more Keith Richards than Kinks.
  18. Snapshots of Nairobi
    The only instrumental on the record, and a very interesting one at that. It has saxophone and a feel not that far removed from This Heat.
  19. Soft South Africans (Raw)
    With a song this good I'll never complain about another version. Only problem is, the song is Hearts In Exile, NOT Soft South Africans! No problem - the track is still great. I like this song a lot too.
  20. Walk Before Imitate
    Wonder why this never made the LP? It is a very good song!
  21. Still Living in My Car
    Really nice to have this one. there are wordless backing vocals, which I have never heard on any other Homosexual's tracks. The vocals sound like women's, but I'll bet it is the band singing.

I don't know whether The Homosexuals were early gay rights advocates or whether they just chose a name meant to shock, but i know good music when I hear it, and I believe there is good music on this disc.

---Carl, April 20, 2004