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Tanker / Nelsh

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Album Review

Stripping the lineup down to just Kilgour on drums and old Gordons mate Halvorsen on bass, Parker and a revamped Bailter Space cooked up a full-length debut much closer in spirit to what '90s audiences were familiar with, while simultaneously distancing themselves from the ghost of the Gordons. The nervy, aggressive edge of the Gordons is still there, but now it's tempered by a slightly less aggressive approach. The downbeat guitar chiming and squalling feedback of "Glass" and "The 'W' Song" give a good sense of this, as do Parker's vocals, which are buried deep in the mix on these tracks. "Your Invisible Life" has a great push to it and features a particularly inspired performance from Parker. "The Today Song" achieves almost inspirational heights in its own way, while "Grader Spader" fuses the spirit of old and new quite effectively, and was understandably chosen as a single. Parker continues to sing in his new, tenderer way, while the band kicks up a catchy storm. The trio work well together, and a few songs sound like they grew out of particularly productive jam sessions. The punchy instrumental "Titan" — which features Parker and Halvorsen exchanging moody, ringing chords and notes before building into a false climax and an astonishing return — and the equally fine title track are probably the best songs on the album for that reason alone.

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Bailter Space!


Formed: 1987 in Christchurch, New Zealand

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Led by former Gordons guitarist Alister Parker, noise rock unit Bailter Space emerged from Christchurch, New Zealand in 1987. Originally comprised of former Clean and Great Unwashed drummer Hamish Kilgour, Pin Group alum Ross Humphries on bass, and Glenda Bills on drums, the group issued its debut EP, Nelsh, on the famed Flying Nun label later that year; both Humphries and Bills departed soon after, resulting in the addition of former Gordons bassist John Halvorsen in time to record the 1988 full-length...
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Tanker / Nelsh, Bailter Space
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