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    Spoils of War – The Spoils of War

    Spoils of War - The Spoils of War.

    Formed in 1967 in Champaigne / Urbana, Illinois, Spoils of War (named after one of Harry Partch’s self-built instruments) were an experimental psychedelic rock band that augmented their sound with a sawtooth wave generator, as well as employing the techniques of musique concrete tape manipulation and computer punch card madness to throw the whole mess on a slow boat to Weirdsville. After self-releasing an ultra rare seven-inch in 1969, the band went on hiatus for a mere 30 years until German label Shadoks released some of their material on LP and CD.

    Opening up the 13-track album The Spoils of War, “Walk In, Walk Out” blends some swirling, garbled, gurgling electronics and voices with light ’60s rock complete with organ and fuzz guitar. “First Love, Last Love” displays some typical ‘60s folk rock, while “E-Thing” proffers some clicking, scintillating electronics, deep synth stabs and drones that segue into more light ’60s rock. “You’re That Girl” is similar to “First Love…” while “Now Made in America offers up some twee pop with pinging electronics, a fragile falsetto, and a funny organ riff. Some slightly harder rock appears on “Rit Yellow of the Sun,” which is filled with with synth stabs, fuzz guitar and increasingly garbled electronics.

    “The Crimson Uniform / Jena’s Score” features some free horn blat splats with sped-up pop, while “The Record Rejects / After the Party / Lonesome is a Truer Word / The End” introduces some cut-up orchestral music, sped-up pop, electronic twitters, and musique concrete chaos. On “What Happens Now / Now is Made in America / Henry T. Joseph” some light, peppy jazz rock is combined with stabs of fuzz guitar that switches back and forth with twee pop. More mellow pop is evidence on “Void of Mystery / The Greyness Moves in Quietly” along with flute flourishes, feedback, sax-led puffery, and swirling tape manipulations.

    Some cheerful song poem fare appears on “Susan Never Smiles – Remembering,” while “Ring, Magic Telephone, Ring” presents precisely the kind corny lightweight ’60s pop you’d see on Laugh-In. A short slice of complex, classical acoustic guitar playing accompanied by singing called “Victoria Falls” ends the set in a rather confusing manner. All in all, this is a pretty solid album, and comes highly recommended if you enjoy the work of similar outfits like The United States of America, Fifty Foot Hose and The Mothers of Invention.

    Label: Shadoks Catalog Number: SHADOKS 001 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 13 Country: Germany Released: 1999 More: Discogs

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