In keeping with how I seem to be late with all things music, I’ve only now discovered the 80’s band Amebix. Considered to be the father of crust/punk music, I was intrigued to learn about them as my exposure to crust/punk has been limited. With all the research I’ve been doing, I’m glad I stumbled upon this gem.
And all I can say is “Where have you been all my life?” I must have been living under a rock to not have heard of this seminal band.
You can hear their 1985 album entitled, Arise!, (my favorite), below:
They remind me of a couple of things or I should say other bands have totally reminded me of them. The album begins with a beautiful instrumental composition that evokes the right atmospheric doom and gloom for the songs to follow. Their second title track, “Axeman” has a chorus that totally reminds me of the Neurosis/Jarboe song, “Within” in which you hear Jarboe ominously singing, He is Coming, not unlike Amebix’s, He is coming, SLAUGHTER. I love every second of this album. Can you tell???
Another particular favorite song of mine is the video below for “Drink and Be Merry“–which screams Joy Division. The way that lead singer, Rob Miller sings, has such a tonal depression that’s completely comparable to Ian Curtis. it’s amazing I didn’t discover this song during my goth days! Add the bass and drums and you can see the post-punk influence of their times. What I found most appealing about Amebix is that they don’t exactly fit one style. I guess this harkens to the fact that they were considered to be a very innovative and transitional band. Rob’s vocals have often been likened to Motorhead’s Lemmy with it’s trashy scratchiness. You’ll definitely hear what I mean with the chorus from “Drink and Be Merry”.
And here’s the live version of Drink and Be Merry from a 2009 show: