Rhine

Rhine is a new album for the first quarter of 2015. It’s the first singing album since Under Gail Succubus in 2006. Not nine years in the making, instead I have struggled with identity, which only recently allowed this to happen.

It’s a ‘Tom Ellard’ thing, but I usually cover releases here in more detail. You’re right to ask what difference between that and ‘Severed Heads’ – the latter has more baggage and is happier in a nursing home.

Recording started in 2012 when we were invited to play the Adelaide Festival early in 2013. The idea was to make a special item for that show, but the workload on the HH game made that impossible. Nevertheless there were some sketches done and an album seemed plausible, although not as a release as much as a nice thing to do. It’s around this time that the old Terse Tapes studio started to regrow with many “new old” synthesisers and tape machines coming back into use. Whatever the studio had lost in the great dying of 1998, it was made right.

Most of the sounds on Rhine are from hardware and magnetic tape. That makes little difference in the quality of the sound, but has focussed the music in some ways that’s been helpful and interesting.

The bigger it got the more it needed some kind of resolution. For a little while I thought it could be released by ‘Kaspar Stangassinger’ as a joke. But in 2014, the old Eighties Cheesecake LP was re-issued and some kind words said about it. It has been difficult to reconcile my day job (middle aged guy in university admin) with singing, and I don’t enjoy the same timeless visage as John Foxx, but you know, fuck, just get over it.

It’s a pop album somewhat like Cheesecake meets Gail. I have other ‘experimental’ albums available (for free!) so I don’t see the need to justify that. For two years it was called My Puppydog Face, and then that track got taken off* and I just stole the name Rhine from another project that is being absorbed into H3H. (You are keeping up with all these projects aren’t you?)

Although I’ve done very well out of music downloads I think it needs some kind of celebratory package and form, a fetish. A thumb drive seems to be the best format and I’m pricing this, with download as an instant gratification bonus. I understand that some are worried by this, but I will make sure that you get the best of each.

Currently the album is in mastering hell. One interesting thing about older hardware is that it creates vastly different textures that really don’t sit well together – that is, one track can be happily loud, while the one you wanted next to it sounds awful at a similar volume. One problem is screeching. The older machines are like parrots.

As more news comes, I will bring it here.

* But rumour has it that you might find that on the thumb drive somehow.

Merchandise!

We never thought about merchandise. It just didn’t fit in our brains somehow. The last few gigs the promoters were truly dumbfounded because we just didn’t have any. What? but that’s how you get paid!

Meh.

So in the same spirit as the farewell gigs we did for people we trusted and the albums we’re re-making for people we are going to trust, we are going to merchandise with a person we have known for very a long time, and a new company.

Now let’s be honest – very few people are going to wear stuff because we are cool. They will wear it because it is cool. I wondered if we have anything the kids will dig. This evening I went through our baggage.

1981 slide_monster

This guy is pretty cool. He’s a slide from our 1981 live shows. Kind of retro hallucinogenic.

1984 sick_kid

Oh now this one breaks the ice at parties. That’ll Hot Topic for sure.

1986 - 2002 Pumpkin Dog

I’m kind of biased about this one. I’d wear it if no one else did. Toy Dog + Pumpkin sticker = party starts now.

1986 Rotund back 2002

Yeah.

One thing I had forgotten was the limited edition albums we’ve sold over the years.

2010 Showbag DVD and BluRay

2010 Showbag Bluray back

2006 Under Gail Succubus metal

The Showbag Blu-Ray in the BIG TOP microchip anti-static container and the metal boxes for Under Gail Succubus. Can’t imagine having the time to hand make these things any more. What about the OP2.5 CDs with the individual pieces of cut foam in the back? Was I nuts? I was nuts.

Actually, talking about Under Gail Succubus why don’t I tell you where the individual owner codes were hidden? Next time…