Lemon Kittens
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Not Born Beautiful , 6/10
Fear Engine , 6/10
Several Headed Enemy , 5/10
Tendercide , 5/10
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I Lemon Kittens erano un duo di polistrumentisti attivi nei cabaret, Danielle Dax, imbevuta di musica elettronica, misticismo biblico e canto mediorientale, e Karl Blake, ex musicista jazzrock. Insieme componevano obliqui miscugli di esotismi, nonsense "canterburyani" e astrattismi "eniani".

Nel marasma cacofonico dell'EP Spoonfed And Writhing e dell'album We Buy A Hammer For Daddy si annidano peraltro squisiti ritornelli folk. Con l'EP Cake Beast del 1980 i brani cominciarono a distendersi e a strutturarsi, e su Big Dentist del 1982 lo stile era ormai maturato, tramutandosi in un jazzrock nevrotico, rumoroso, dadaista, in particolare nella suite They Are Both Dirty.

The Lemon Kittens were two young multi-strumentalists involved in multimedia art-performance/theater: Danielle Dax, a fan of electronic music, biblical mysticism and middle-eastern vocal music, and Karl Blake, a veteran jazz musician. Their music harked back to Canterbury's jazz-rock, to Brian Eno's avantgarde rock, and to the nonsense quality of much British rock.

The EP Spoonfed And Writhing and the album We Buy A Hammer For Daddy are cacophonous and chaotic, although the melodies are often charming and pastoral.


With the EP Cake Beast (1980) the tracks began to expand and assume complex structures. The band's style matures on the full-length album Big Dentist (1982). The eleven-minute piece They Are Both Dirty is a dissonant circus of grotesque Dadaistic gestures. For three minutes Blake indulges in all sorts of acoustic and electronic sounds. Then Dax begins to hum accompanied by a piano. As the music returns to a clownish fanfare, she intones an operatic litany. Guitar noises and tribal drums take over, but the end is solemnly-performed funeral music. Blake's and Dax's collage art is still naive, but certainly full of surprises. Blake displays his penchant for absurd, neurotic jazz in Mylmus, and then weds it with lunar synth-pop in No Night Not Shared. (Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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Mentre Danielle Dax si inventa una brillante carriera solista, Karl Blake, titolare in proprio di Prehensile Tales (Normal, 1983), indulge con gli Shock Headed Peters in un funk tecnologico a meta` strada fra Tom Waits, Pop Group e Gang Of Four. All'album Not Born Beautiful (EL, 1985 - World Serpent, 1994) seguirono gli EP I Bloodbrother Be (El, 1984), Kissing Of Gods (El, 1985) e Life Extinguisher (Beach Culture, 1986), tentando anche di erigere un ponte fra musiche heavy metal e industriali.

Il gruppo si sciolse dopo Fear Engine (Produkt Korps, 1987), un'antologia di inediti e rarita` dal vivo, ristampato come Fear Engine II (Cyclops, 1993) con l'aggiunta di nuove versioni di vecchie canzoni,

Karl Black, anche bassista nei Sol Invictus, titolare degli Evil Twin con David Mellor dei quali sono stati pubblicati The Black Spot (Livesey, 1994), contenente When Dying is Saying That You Want to Live, e la lunga composizione Palace Of Worms (1998), e autore degli album solisti Paper Thin Religion (World Serpent, 1992) e Mandibles - En Route To Toothless (Swordex Hieroglyph Proper, 1995), riprese l'avventura degli Shock Headed Peters con il solo David Knight. Several Headed Enemy (Cyclops, 1993), e` pero` un album confuso, sfocato e privo di buone canzoni.

Tendercide (Cyclops, 1995) tiene in vita il progetto, senza peraltro giustificarne l'esistenza con la musica (sul disco debutta al canto Sally Doherty).

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