Reviews

The Venus Fly Trap / Alex Novak – Mercurial 1978-2018 (Album – Glass Modern)

By Jul 15,2020

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Genre/Influences: Post-punk, cold-wave, gothic.

Format: Digital, CD.

Background/Info: The Venus Fly Trap is a British band that was originally set up by Alex Novak. The band is active since the late 80s and released multiple records. This album is a kind of ‘best of’, but also a look back to different side-projects Alex Novak has been involved with.

Content: Let’s begin with the 10 songs from The Venus Fly Trap. The sound belongs to the UK-80s scene revealing a cold-wave and somewhat post-punk approach. The raw guitar play and some melodic electronic arrangements are some of the main characteristics. Among the tracklist you’ll also discover cover versions from Suicide (cf. “Rocket USA”) and The Cramps (cf. “Human Fly”).   

The next part of the album brings us back to punk with Isaws, Religious Overdose, The Tempest, Attrition (Alex Novak contributed to the album “Smiling At the Hypogonder Club” (1985), Nova State Conspiracy, The Den and Spore.

+ + + : There’re always some cool songs featured at the The Venus Fly Trap albums so this ‘new’ compilation is for sure a good idea, but things are getting more interesting when getting back to the multiple side-projects and bands Alex Novak has been involved with. From the pretty cool punk formation Isaws to Religious Overdose and The Tempest this musician touched ground with different styles although all related genres. This album is an interesting discovery for 80s fans.

– – – : I’m not a huge fan of both aforementioned cover versions. I think these songs must be cool on stage, but can’t compete with the originals on CD.

Conclusion: This is an interesting retrospective from Alex Novak’s main band The Venus Fly Trap while the songs from the other bands he has been involved with is a cool bonus.

Best songs: “Achilles Heel”, “Morphine”, “Desolation Railway” + Isaws: “Standens” + Religious Overdose: “In This Century” + The Tempest: “Lady Left This”.

Rate: (7½).

Artist: www.spiralarchive.com / www.facebook.com/thevenusflytrapuk

Label: www.facebook.com/glassrecordsoflondon

 

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