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Young Marble Giants Colossal Youth Review

Album. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

Cardiff's most famous post-punk band reissued in tasty expanded form...

Daryl Easlea 2007

The Cardiff three-piece Young Marble Giants encapsulated the possibilities and boundary-stretching of what was to become known as post-punk on this, their one and only album. With arrangements so sparse they were positively skeletal, melodies so brittle it seemed if they would snap, it’s all minimal drum noise, pure voice, jumble sale organ and a budget Bernard Edwards in bassist Philip Moxham.

Young Marble Giants arrived and departed in something of a vacuum; at a time when females were strident (think Siouxsie, think Pauline Black) or whimsical (Sally Oldfield, Judie Tzuke); Alison Statton came along with her untutored, folky approach and sang Stuart Moxham’s words to underdone perfection. Colossal Youth was always a record out-of-step yet strangely in tune, on its release in 1980, and it found favour in America (Hole covered “Credit In The Straight World.”) At best, they were always pretty marginal; yet in that mixed-up era, their album became one of the best-selling indie albums.

It is delightful to see Domino doing such a thorough job with the release. This exemplary double package (there's a limited triple, too, with their BBC sessions on it), gathers together all of their single releases, oddities, alongside the original album. The Testcard E.P, their final release, with its frail toytown tunes is here in its entirety.

The band soon split, leaving these 41 pieces as a testament to their awkward emotional vision. Songs such as "Searching For Mr. Right," "Wurlitzer Jukebox!" and their non-album single "Final Day" have such naïve charisma, it's impossible to think of life without them.

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