Certain General

November's Heat

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The New York band's first full-length album was originally released in France only on the L'Invitation au Suicide label in 1984; it finally came out in the United States in 1999. It's very much a record that's emblematic of the post-punk dark ages descending on the underground in the mid-1980s. Funky basslines and mannered vocals (by guitarist Parker Dulany) convey a muted anguish, somber and obtuse lyrics, and not a whole lot of melody. There's a somewhat goth mood to the sound, though it's not as over-the-top as that of the true goth bands of the time; there's also something of a British feel to the approach (especially in the vocals), although again it's not quite as dyed-in-the-wool UK as actual bands from that country. It's not as creepy or disturbing as it tries to be. Apparently (at least, according to the liner notes by Marc Jeffrey of the Band of Outsiders) they got a cult following in France on the basis of this recording, though the reason is not obvious from this middling disc.

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