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Heaven Scent

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Album Review

The final Perfect Disaster album, in retrospect, could be called a predictor of the future — at least to the extent that Josephine Wiggs and Jon Mattock would become famous working separately and together in acts like the Breeders, Spiritualized, and the Josephine Wiggs Experience. But here they were a pretty darn great rhythm section backing up the garagey snarl and crunch of Phil Parfitt and Dan Cross' guitar, and the results were some good and great neo-psych zone-outs and rave-ups. With the brilliant "Rise" starting things off, Parfitt's aggro sneer is perfectly suited to the great riff mania and blast of the music, and Heaven Scent covered both high-volume blasts and moodier, more reflective songs in equal measure. In ways it's those quieter songs, such as "Father" and "Where Will You Go With Me," which give a clear indication of the incipient Spacemen 3 family tree connections. One could almost imagine Sonic Boom singing the vocals and playing the guitars on a few of those numbers, and it's to Parfitt's credit that his own enjoyable take on a drowsily beautiful mood stands out, almost an English equivalent to what early Mazzy Star was doing at the same time. The alternating between clipped and kicky songs like "Takin' Over" (which almost sounds like a more rocked-out Go-Betweens) and "Sooner or Later" and quieter efforts like "Little Sister (If Ever Days)" (with a lovely Wiggs cello part) is a touch disconcerting. It almost sounds like two different bands at work at points, but the end results are worth the slight schizophrenia, concluding with the wonderful "It's Gonna Come to You," a slow-burn of a full-on rock epic that ranks as one of the best songs of its year. Wiggs takes a slightly buried co-lead vocal on "Wires," the one song she wrote lyrics for, otherwise adding some fine backing singing here and there throughout. Some CD versions include a few bonus tracks, including two live cuts from a 1989 concert — one, an involving, nearly 15-minute take on "B52."


Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Having tested the water as Orange Disaster, then the Architects Of Disaster, these calamitously inclined types finally settled on the Perfect Disaster in 1984, as the original rhythm section departed to form Fields Of The Nephilim. The initial UK-based line-up comprised Phil Parfitt (guitar/vocals), Allison Pates (guitar), John Saltwell (bass) and Malcolm Catto (drums), although personnel changes were to plague the band’s career. Ignored by the British music scene, the Perfect Disaster took their...
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Heaven Scent, Perfect Disaster
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