FAME Review: Scattered Bodies - Talking Songs
Scattered Bodies - Talking Songs

Talking Songs

Scattered Bodies

Dream Tower Records - DT08

Available from Dream Tower Records.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

The band's name, Scattered Bodies, is taken from a line in John Donne's Holy Sonnets after which Philip Jose Farmer later titled one of his psychedelic sci-fi / fantasy novels:

At the round earth's imagin'd corners, blow
Your trumpets, angels, and arise, arise
From death, you numberless infinities
Of souls, and to your scattered bodies go

…an apocalyptician's idea of uber-redemptionism. Ol' Johnny Donne was something of an anarchistic hellraising spiritualist who dug the arts, satire, sex, and cheesing off Catholics…a very likeable guy, in other words. "No man is an island" and "Do not ask for whom the bell tolls", two of the most used poetic phrases in the English language, were scribed by him. Well, Brian Brett, the poet in this threesome ain't no John Donne, no, no, no. He's more like Donovan Leitch meeting Jim Morrison in a dank alley and the two having it out.

The bulk of Talking Songs is just that: psych-sprechestimme, Brett growling out verses or Susheela Dawne singing in a voice mindful of a ghost encanting at the edge of a graveyard. A contrastingly lovely forest closes in as she reads off Brian's words like a pining Ligeia awaiting Edgar Allen to come courting through a swamp as meadowlarks skirl overhead. If you're thinking 'Goth', you're not far off the mark. Some time back, Flash and the Pan issued a set of LPs of rock talk-speak, but this is a lot darker and far more hippie beatnik, rhythms and beats only a tertiary consideration.

The music's largely rescued fragments from Canada's art-punk band The Scenics, of which this trio's third member, Andy Meyers, was a member, plus embellishments from all concerned and a few sessioneers to boot. Put it all together and you have cafe art with a decided gravity. Talking Songs takes poetry slamming to a new level, and I suspect that were it a bit more emulated by all and sundry, interest in these events would find itself arching an eyebrow. On the other hand, this is a Canadian gig, so that's probably already in place. Here in America, if it isn't on TV or radio and the endless stations of crap, it doesn't exist.

Track List:

  • Mindinao Deep
  • The Many Moments
  • Domestic Mysteries
  • Clothing of my Youth
  • Time of the Thrush
  • Lady Boy at the Siem Reap Bridge
  • Every Woman is Beautiful
  • To your Scattered Bodies Go
  • Boy Child
  • Great White Whale
  • Take Off your Clothes
  • This is What I Know
  • Rain on the Red Tin Roof
All words written by Brian Brett; all music by Brett / Myers / Dawne.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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