Embrace The Herd

In the pre-history of lo-fi, [B]Stuart Moxham[/B]'s name looms large....

In the pre-history of lo-fi, Stuart Moxham‘s name looms large. The Welsh singer-songwriter inadvertently scrawled his name in the scrolls of legend with the Young Marble Giants‘Colossal Youth’ album in 1980, and has spent the rest of his career desperately trying to get over it.

His next move, widely perceived as a disaster, was to form The Gist with YMG singer Alison Statton. However, this, their solitary 1983 album, has gathered quite a reputation in the households of such, er, household names as the Palace Brothers, Smog and The Magnetic Fields.

Like its YMG predecessor, ‘Embrace The Herd’ (here presented in its original form, plus added outtakes) is a painfully shy exercise in pop revisionism. Arcane analogue synths and syn-drums meekly snuggle alongside spindly guitar lines to create a sound somewhere between Brian Eno‘s ambient architecture and the dub-wise amateurism of The Slits. In the midst of the stylistic confusion there’s at least one sterling pop song, ‘Love At First Sight’, and odd moments of wonky clarity like the Julian Cope-ish ‘Iambic Pentameter’, but you can’t help but concur with Moxham when he says on the newly written sleevenotes that ‘Embrace The Herd’ is a bit of a shambles.

Of course with obscure, classic albums – Big Star‘s ‘Third/Sister Lovers’, Shack‘s ‘Waterpistol’ – that chaotic quality is part of the appeal. ‘Embrace The Herd’ might take a little work, but there are jewels as well as splinters amid its dead wood.

You May Like