Jonh Wilde

Publication Date:
19th April 1986


THE ART OF NOISE ‘In Visible Silence’ (China Records WOL 2)*
HERE’S A thought to take you away. Even the finest shoe makes a terrible tablecloth, and mass-production grins won’t fool the ticket-inspector and get you a free ride to Bournemouth. Which means: post-ZTT Noise doesn’t even add up to the merest sliver of sense.
Realistically, The Art Of Noise had forever been cooking the fat of its own shifty-eyed brinkmanship, nothing much more than a sometimes brilliantly disguised battleground for flaky muso gravy trains, 1974 aspirations, crypto-bullshit ‘80s technology and studio goofs succumbing and numbing to the shackles of mediocrity. In retrospect, they are gonna suffer like beached whales for all the athletic illusions (Morley’s and their own).
Happy to feed off the plethora of images that besieged them and content to hang themselves on the meathooks of their manifestos, this is their rude awakening, frustrating the life out of their own meagre expectations. Like moving your life to another chunk of the earth during a menopause, waking up the next morning, expecting salvation and finding a brain tumour.
It’s like Charles Manson looking for the right tie; it’s like ambient atmospherics and tin foil pyrotechnics looking for shelter; it’s like discovering the false bottom to a suitcase, thinking you’re James Bond for a moment, a mere mortal the next; it’s like a bad imitation of the death rattle. Most of all, it’s like asking for diamonds and getting iced piss and not realising ‘till you get home.
So you get ‘Legs’ and ‘Peter Gunn’ and nine other slaps of stroboscopic sloth, little rhythm or wit and no trace of the beat-box-be-bop severity of the first diversion or the disruptive dadaist pantings of ‘Moments In Love’. The hoochie-coochie man at the ZTT thinkstop must be down on his knees with the glowing relief that he no longer has to dress this drivel up in skyhook sublimity or pumiced parody. Turkeys.

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