The Associates – Fourth Drawer Down
CD Album, Reissued, Remastered
Originally, and like an idiot, I purchased all the 12” singles that pretty much makes up Fourth Drawer Down. But still, sometime in the '80s I needed to get this album, just to get that feeling that I have everything by The Associates. At the time I was living on Martel Avenue in Hollywood, just a little bit an above of Melrose Avenue. I'm pretty sure I bought the original vinyl of this album at Arrons Records, which at that time was still on Melrose. The furious experimentation of this record was a good soundtrack to the crumbling of my relationship with a girlfriend at the time. We both liked this album, but I don't think she knew that I actually loved this album more than her.
Billy Mackenzie and Alan Rankine were holed up at Playground Studios, which for these two its a pretty good name for a recording studio. Experimentation was the exception, with Mackenzie singing through a vacuum cleaner hose among other effects. All of it low-fi in that Joe Meek method, without the guns and madness. But saying that it was rumored that drugs was also in the forefront of the recording. Nevertheless one got an album (or is this a demented greatest non-hits album?) of perfect songs being fucked-up and sent out to the stars. Officially this was their second album, the first being a very moody guitar, bass, drums and spacey keyboards number. Here the sound-effects takes first place along with Billy's amazing and beautiful voice. In many ways the whole album reminds me of Bowie's “Look Back In Anger” off his Lodger album. Very compressed sound with soaring vocals fighting against the noise made by Rankine. Totally brilliant.