Sunday, 6 October 2013

Sons Of The Stage / Review by Simon Reynolds / Melody Maker 1991

Melody Maker - 23 March 1991

Sons of the Stage Review

Camp is all about a belittling delight in the quaint artificiality and over-stylisation of bygone pop culture; an aesthetic response wherein affection is mingled with contempt. Camp in pop has meant--Pet Shop Boys, Transvision Vamp, all that sorry school of shite.

But now here come World Twist, with an astonishing single that reconciles these opposites and offers the dizzying possibility of a “camp sublime”.

“Sons of the Stage” is a bugger to describe, which is always a good sign. Imagine a sound somewhere between Can and Vic Reeves, oceanic rock and a lava lamp. It’s camp and it’s cosmic. Kitsch-adelia is the best term I can find to evoke the flatulent fanfares of symphonic Moog, the spirograph curlicues of acid rock guitar, the monstrous, stomping beat. Yet underneath the arched eyebrows and laconic Northern irony, World of Twist are obviously fired up by an ardour for the imposing idiocy of pop, its vacant menace and preposterous splendour, as manifested by bubblegum barbarians like Glitter, the Sweet, David Essex. The lyrics set up a fantastical scenario of communal freak-out, joining the dots that run from acid rock through Northern Soul to Hawkwind and “Teenage Rampage” right up to rave culture. After this camp bacchanalia, the final coda--a fake orchestral fantasia of phased guitars and babbling Moogs--is a plastic apocalypse worthy of Prince, at once tacky and sacramental.


by Simon Reynolds

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