Sons Of Selina – Fire In The Hole

Cat No: DELEC CD 050

Track Listing

  1. For Want Of A Better Name
  2. Our Glass
  3. Terminus
  4. Once Bitten
  5. On The Horns Of A Dilemma
  6. From One Dilemma
  7. Virgo Intactica
  8. The Last Ditch
  9. As Clear As Mud
  10. Shower Scene From Carrie
  11. Kalgan
  12. Fire In The Hole


Aural Innivations #7

After a nearly five year wait the space punkin’ Sons Of Selina all the way from North Wales have released their second CD. Well, I should mention that the band has had several cassettes on the Music & Elsewhere label and indeed I recognized four of the tracks on Fire In The Hole from earlier cassette releases. But this is a properly produced recording that turns the heavy rockin’ Sons’ music into a full blown assault. This is seriously aggressive music that is just freaky enough and has just enough synth-mania to earn it a place in the space realm. On Fire In The Hole, the Sons are Neil Birchall on vocals, bass, keyboards, samples, and loops, Steve Robins on vocals, keyboards and synths, Robin Hemuss on bass, acoustic and electric guitars, and keyboards, Steve Jones on acoustic and electric guitars, Martin Wilding on guitars, and Alan Matthews on drums.

Fire In The Hole is a mixture of tunes, some of which many might think are a bit wimpy for the Sons, and others which are pure ‘rip your heart out’ brain-crushing rock. On the lighter side, “For Want Of A Better Name” is the opening track and starts with a sequenced techno pattern that soon blasts into a tune which is absolutely not techno. It kind of sounds like Simple Minds if that band were psycho rockers. “Our Glass” is a good track though a bit on the mainstream side. “Once Bitten” is another lighter moment though it shows that the guys can really write songs. The vocals still have that ‘I’ll rip yer head off’ edge but the music is dreamier than typical Sons. But then you read the lyrics and realize this isn’t exactly a love song. And “The Last Ditch” is a dance instrumental that reminded me of Ultravox.

Those are good tunes. I like them. But… there’s still plenty of pure balls to the wall Sons Of Selina freakout ‘fry yer brains to shit head-bangin’. Among the highlight tracks are “Terminus”, which is classic thrashing Sons rock. “On The Horns Of A Dilemma” and “Kalgan” are total heavy metal spacerock freakouts. “As Clear As Mud” will set your heads to bangin’ with its Hawkwind robotic voice, mixed with the Sons insane screaming vocals. “Shower Scene From Carrie” starts off sounding like a horror music theme song, but develops into another kick ass rocker. I can picture a whole crowd at a concert all singing “Isn’t that a shame! Isn’t that a shame!” And then there’s the title track, “Fire In The Hole”. Move over Hawkwind. The ultimate cosmic space metal bashers are here. This song has got to be the heaviest and spaciest tune I’ve heard from the Sons yet. Bashing guitars, pounding drums, and twiddling synths.

Fire In The Hole isn’t a whole lot different than Nour D’oui but is a perfect companion to it. Highest recommendation to those who like to head bang in the cosmos. Oh, I can’t close without mentioning the cover. It depicts a pair of female legs almost up to the crotch. And a little white string is hanging down from the crotch. Fire In The Hole… Nuff said…

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Astro Zombie – 1999

Zombie Favourites, the dogs from North Wales, return to present their ‘difficult second album’ with a real vengeance against humanity. This is more fucked up than their first. The only thing difficult about this, however, is trying to stay positive after listening. It’s definately a continuation of their last album Nour D’Oui with it’s thematic motifs of social anxiety, psychological claustrophobia, paradoxes, dilemas, tears, third-life crises, disappointment, the fears of ridicule, death and sinking into obscurity, social insecurity, futility, apathy, indecisions – stuff like that – usual mundane normality. Musically, it’s a lot more mature and diverse. Ranging from archaic English folk to popular stomping anthems to electronic ambience/dance straight to the corrosive canine blisterings of cyberpunk. It’s all lucid, surreal and fantastical – ‘Our Glass’ is a feverish tale of the psycho-genius which mirrors the lyricist-fucking freak. It’s all enshrouded in the visions of a dystopia-future society gone wrong, encapsulated best in the space-punk tract ‘Terminus’ (CD single reviewed last issue) which is psychologically crushing, engineered bu ultra-crunching distorted thrash guitar. Bonehead gives it to ya – one foot on the monitor, mouth open in a silent scream.

‘Once Bitten’ is a hilarious (to me, anyway) bitter and twisted ballad of love gone wrong, the deception of the whore who doesn’t escape that easily, all performed in the most melodic and harmonious of styles – the traditional English ballad. ‘On The Horns Of A Dilemma’ is a furiously brutal piece of head-pitchforking about being trapped in a corner like vermin and gored by life itself – don’t listen to the lyrics if you can help it!

‘From One Dilemma’ is a Cosmic Crypt favourite which does show the Sons Of Selina in a different light – approaching the universal concern of the human condition- from the macrocosmic tragedies through time to the microcosmic dilemma within the mind of the individual. It lends itself to Primal Scream (the keyboards anyway). This is a classic, I could handle a whole album purely of this!

‘Virgo Intactica’ is a musical excursion through the hiamen of dance music – not my sort of thing at all – but it’s not too tacky. The Zombie was informed that this track may be used for a sports advert on TV or summat. Ridiculously long introduction but it gets there eventually.

‘The Last Ditch’ starts off with a crowd laughing, typical SOS here we go – jeering and mocking the court fool ‘entertaining’ us as we delight in his breakdown.

Overall this album is a total classic, just as good as their debut, but much more displeased and cynical. Essential