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Thread: The Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus

  1. #1
    very clever with maracas Davey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    on some faraway beach...

    The Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus

    Crazy name for a band, I know, and it looks like our old buddy unleasHell is the only one to mention them before around here, but ever since their great new record last year, Beauty Will Save the World, I've been pretty stuck on them. I bought the new one on vinyl, I got the vinyl reissue of their also amazing 1987 debut, The Gift of Tears, and also picked up the 2013 3-CD collection of 1987-1995, which covers their first three releases. All pretty amazing.

    This new one is their their first full-length record in over 20 years, so enchanting, really deserves more attention. Similarities to Godspeed You Black Emperor, though probably more the other way around since they were here long before GYBE, interesting use of retrieved sounds and samples, some of it does echo back to Eno, and there's the Dead Can Dance reflections, especially in some of the middle eastern sound and percussion, the mostly wordless singing and chanting, and maybe the Swans from later in the 90s. Much of the music is propelled by either piano or strings, and you could almost describe it at times as sacred music, it sounds like it was recorded in a church, but still has that experimental edge, the background drones, the ambience, so soothing but also so interesting at the same time.

    Anyway, if you get the chance, this is some pretty unique music to explore and get lost in. Highly recommended ...

    The one below is pretty special, this is from the middle section of Beauty Will Save the World, it opens with R. S. Thomas reciting from his poem "The Bright Field", and the video is from the film by Andrei Tarkovsky ... beautifully integrated though with very powerful images, the poet’s voice giving way to the melancholy music, the boy in the film running in the fields around the house, the impending storm, I won't give any more away because it's very much worth watching and listening... looks like you have to watch it on youtube now, but very much worth the extra click ...

    I have seen the sun break through
    to illuminate a small field
    for a while, and gone my way
    and forgotten it. But that was the
    pearl of great price, the one field that had
    treasure in it. I realise now
    that I must give all that I have
    to possess it. Life is not hurrying
    on to a receding future, nor hankering after
    an imagined past. It is the turning
    aside like Moses to the miracle
    of the lit bush, to a brightness
    that seemed as transitory as your youth
    once, but is the eternity that awaits you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    I checked out a few things on YouTube, thanks for the tip, a bit trippy but pretty cool. Think I should start with Beauty Saved the World?
    Davey likes this.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Thanks for the props Davey, as yes I was into them at least 10 years ago and their music still haunts me...!
    Davey likes this.

  4. #4
    very clever with maracas Davey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    on some faraway beach...
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    Think I should start with Beauty Saved the World?
    Yea, I think Beauty Will Save the World is just about a perfect introduction. Conceptually both appealing and challenging, as the title may suggest. The cover art is a picture of Simone Weil, one of the most intriguing philosophical and religious thinkers of the last century, the inner sleeve has a quote from her that may sum up the concept, "The beautiful is the experimental proof that the incarnation is possible".

    Really nice sounding too. I assume you may be thinking vinyl, and it is a well done pressing. Heavy vinyl done in the UK, mastered by John Dent (JONZ for those familiar with one of his most used deadwax signatures). Not a gatefold, but both cover and sleeve are from sturdy stock. I got it from Amazon for around $24, which is a bit on the high side, but it is made in the UK. Might be some better deals around, but with free shipping and some other bonus point stuff, it was OK with me for such a great record. Don't remember if I mentioned above, but the vinyl does cost you a song, and slightly changes the order in the middle to split sides. It's not a big loss, they chose wisely, but it is something to consider.

    I should say that the digital sounds pretty nice too, and I wouldn't be too disappointed if it wasn't available on vinyl.

    I only just got The Gift of Tears vinyl a couple days ago from a different source, so haven't listened to it yet. It's pressed by Feral Sounds Recordings in the US (they are house label for Third Eye Records in Long Beach, CA), available on either black or clear vinyl (I just opted for black, quite a bit cheaper). It's not up to quite the same quality standards as the new one, but I didn't really expect it to be since it's somewhat cheaper. I've listened to the CD quite a bit, and it does sound pretty good, so I'm hoping this vinyl reissue does too. Again, nothing wrong with the sound of the CD, just wanted it on vinyl. The debut is a little bit more adventurous than the new one, more of that time in the late 80s, some of the lineup is different, but there's still an obvious connection even after so long. Pretty amazing music.
    Mr Peabody likes this.

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