April 1987 – Buzz 5

More Science Fiction

“Spacemen 3 are not part of the hard-core revivalist movement. We transcend all that to a certain degree. Let’s say that we are influenced by it all, but we’re not retrogressive. We don’t subscribe to The Medics approach and we aren’t into the abstract quality which is a hallmark of the likes of Robyn Hitchcock. With us all levels of consciousness are adequately catered for.” (Sonic).

Just as there aren’t really one hundred and one uses for a dead cat nor seven deadly sins, Spacemen 3 are not a trio. They are, in fact, four, with guitarists Sonic and Jason sharing the roles of frontmen and spokesmen. Their boyish charm, matching locks and positively nondescript styles of dress are hardly the qualifications one might expect even the vaguest psychedelic band to possess.

“We’re not into psychedelic fashions, paisley shirts and flares.” (Jason).

“We’re totally imageless, although, somehow, onstage we manage to look like a band. What we do doesn’t come from trying to be a part of a trend, but from an interest in rock ‘n’ roll and experiments with various substances. We do it for ourselves, though we’re now becoming increasingly aware of an audience.” (Sonic).

The band’s sound is centred upon a ceaseless, droning beat, punishing and wearing away any resistance, whilst strummed and picked guitars do battle all around. Live, it is a throbbing noise, writhing with effects and fuzz, occasionally bolstered by almost unaudible lyrics. It is a harshness which has been transferred to vinyl on their “Sound Of Confusion” LP and “Walkin’ With Jesus” 12”, both available on Glass Records. But within the vicious circles, there is an undisguished delicacy, a fragility, a mellow edge which the Spacemen are promising to bring more to the fore with their new album “Perfect Prescription”. Their desire for experimentation is driving them into fresher, positive areas.

Like Underground Zero, Spacemen 3 have been quietly churning, swirling, since the early 80s, more than content with life in the Warwickshire countryside surrounding Rugby. It is this alienation from the London scene which helps to make them such an enticing proposition, one of the most genuinely unique acts to be shoved beneath the new underground umbrella.

“As with all small towns Rugby has definite advantages and disadvantages. But it is very central for us, we rarely have to travel more than sixty or seventy miles for a gig.” (Jason).

“It’s also a great area for mushrooms. We’ve no wish to come down to London to work at the moment.” (Sonic).

Now that is a happy ending.

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