Saturday, November 28, 2009
The Royal Family And The Poor - The Temple of The 13th Tribe
Mike Keane's occultism-preoccupied outfit was one of the most mercurial, distant acts in Factory's roster. Closer in spirit to Current 93, Coil or Zos Kia, nevertheless they show the relationships betwee those acts and groups like Biting Tongues, 23 Skidoo and The Pop Group.
"Although The Royal Family And The Poor formed in 1978 it took six years for an album to be released. By that time the band consisted of Liverpool's Mike Keane; an uncompromising talent who obviously benefitted from having Peter Hook on hand for production duties. The 1980 releases included here as bonuses are uncontrolled noise; rallying cries against politics set to industrial background which made Cabaret Voltaire's early material sound like easy listening. The album itself - entitled 'Temple Of The 13th Tribe' was of an altogether higher standard with Keane even verging towards melodies on 'Discipline' and 'Motherland'. Keane is in most impressive form on 'Voices', 'Moonfish Is Here' and 'Radio Egypt'; each one an outstanding cut of nightmarish, post-punk brilliance; building up slowly and irresistably to a sinister conclusion. Also worth a mention is the depressing love song 'I Love You (Restrained In A Moment)', 'Power Of Will' where the arrangement mirrors Hook's work with his New Order day job and the Department S-aping 'Dark And Light'. Keane's work might prove to be a little too insular and dark for some but there are rich rewards to be had for the persistent." - LL