The Retrospective E.P. resurrects 4 tracks, spanning over 20 years, from the archives of Nina Walsh. The quartet crossing, traversing, three creative relationships.
Did You See Her is a slow, dark, Pink Military cover, produced in the late `90s while still in Slab, with ex-Drum Club-ber, Lol Hammond. A gothic rumbling, pummeled by big bass, bigger beats, and squalls of angular guitar. Ringing with echo and reverb. Nina’s delivery, anguished and angry*. Leaping two decades, Lover Teacher, is driven by a vintage `60s Vox Invader. Its distorted, fuzzed, freaked-out, mutant rockabilly riffing, recalling The Smiths, Johnny Marr, Hand In Glove, What Difference Does It Make?. Especially when the howling harmonica joins in. From a slightly earlier time-frame, Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down, sounds like Another Green World-era Brian Eno dealing, musically, with an immediate tragedy. Composed while caring for partner, Erick Legrand, a treated 12-string and sinewy synth combine in a low, mournful drone. Aching arcs, close to falling apart. Nina’s faraway vocal drawing on folk more than anything. Throughout the E.P. there’s this kind of purr that blurs the punk edge on these heartbroken songs of betrayal, longing, and loss.
Darkest Night, dating from 2005, would surely have found its own place in the prized, precious, Black Notebooks, of Nina’s long-standing collaborator, co-conspirator, the lamented, and sorely missed, Andrew Weatherall. An absolutely classic, strung-out, rock ballad, it`s as beautifully broken as Alex Chilton and Big Star, as fucked up and fragile as Peter Perrett, The Saints` Walk Away, The Boys Next Door. Mr. Thunders` You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory. An electric strum and symphonic cello surrounding a hard-earned lyric of friendship and love. Together summoning a tearjerking anthem, where the pain, and honesty, are pure, palpable.
Nina Walsh`s Retrospective E.P. is out now, via Facility 5.
*Adam says “Siouxsie”, and I say, “Marianne F”, I guess reflecting our respective ages.