North London Spiritualist Church

Another of the many peripheral, unorthodox musical pleasures of Y2K.

Well, it isn't exactly electric music for a start - not in the electronica sense, anyway. That's just one of the disorienting aspects of 'North London Spiritualist Church', the brainchild of music journalist Tom Doyle and guitarist Anth Brown. Stumbling through this bromide haze of pedal steels, Wurlitzers, guitars, drum loops and surreal dub effects is like being caught fogbound in the back alleys of an unfamiliar town. You grasp in vain for familiar reference points and find yourself flailing, with no option but willing submission.


'Northern Lights Northern Power' exhibits Doyle's facility to convey, like The Blue Nile, a sense of the lonely romantic melancholy of the neon-lit city at night, while Doyle has a lyrical ability to capture a vivid and menacing ambience in his lyrics, as well as a knack for angst-ridden metaphors ('Escape Artist'). His vocals certainly aren't bad but they're the least potent element in what is here a generally disturbing, heady and irresistible musical brew. Another of the many peripheral, unorthodox musical pleasures of Y2K.
8 / 10

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