Reviews

Artery Oceans 12″ reissue

Real talk, even in a very generous estimation, ARTERY’s seven-track Oceans 12” from 1982 barely makes the C-list of goth-shadowed early ’80s UK post-punk, and I highly doubt that this reissue will do anything to change that standing. Mark Gouldthorpe’s vocals have a vaguely BAUHAUS-era Peter Murphy quality (if you removed any visceral edge of drama from Peter Murphy’s delivery), there’s some minor JOY DIVISION infringement in the martial, bass-forward rhythmic drone of “Into the Garden,” and for about half of the record, ARTERY passes the expected signposts along a very well-trodden path of post-punk gloom. Everything finally clicks on “The Slide,” where Gouldthorpe’s batcave howls meet clanging mutant disco beats like a crypt-dwelling LIQUID LIQUID, solid gold! But then it’s all downhill from there—“Sailor Situation” is a piano-led, sub-BAD SEEDS reworking of a sea shanty (as in, “what shall we do with the drunken sailor?”), which is just as cringe-worthy as that sounds, and “The Clown” (presented in not one but two versions!) takes a flicker of ROXY MUSIC-ish glam and completely snuffs it under squawks of gimmicky carnival organ and horns. So yeah, “The Slide,” what a perfect argument for the superiority of the 45 format.