Walter & Sabrina - Two Tales: The Twilight Of Walter & Sabrina
Ever the dark archeologists, Walter & Sabrina mine territory covered by Byron and Burroughs, Genet and Galas, yet add their own historical piece to the long line or artists unafraid to taste the distasteful and find an odd glory in it. "Two Tales" might imply a finale to this project, begun several years ago by Walter Cardew and Stephen Moore. If so, they are going out in majestic, jaundiced style, and this time they deliver both haunting, deceptively romantic music and a novella sized book full of squalid and yearning characters for whom appetite is all.
As is their wont, they make their observations deceptively wistful by couching them in operatic, classical suites. Chamber music has never been so menacing, however. Female sopranos Celia Lu and Laura Pooley, together with male counterpart Peter Crawford and counter-tenor Gunnar Brandt-Sigurdsson, add a disquieting lilt to the transgressive lyrics, an almost childlike quality that not only seems to mock the sentiment of the words, but yet also revel in them. In that sense, "Walter & Sabrina Play Classical Tale One," is the most horrific of the three songs here.
"Untitled" quickens the pace a bit, and seems a relief. The rock band line-up, with the addition of tenor and alto sax and the sopranos, is comforting in its familiar structure, yet is likewise eerie and menacing. The Velvets ought to reunite again just to cover this.
"Walter & Sabrina Play Pop Tale Two," also provides a familiar sonic foundation within which to stress that, even here, there is no real solid ground. Or, rather, as is made explicit in the included novella, the only solid ground is the self when it seeks what is wants. The rest is deprivation from that which is sought.
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