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BAND APART (Buy CDs by this artist)
Band Apart EP (Bel. Crammed Discs) 1982
Marseille (Bel. Crammed Discs) 1983

Centered around expatriate Frenchman Medak Mader (guitars, synth) and one Jane Bliss Nodland (vocals, e-bow guitar), Band Apart make grimly impressive music: an intimidating bass'n'drums 4/4 laid down just faster than a stroll (but with vicious inexorability) and whining, gnashing guitars, plus scary vocals. One near-mesmerizing track of multiple guitar/synth washes on the EP is hampered only by the limits of recording and pressing quality.

Marseille is an interesting assortment; more thoughtful, arty, varied and uneven than the EP, but also less confrontational. The one out-and-out turkey is a go at Rodgers and Hart's "Lover" (!?!). Other than that, even its lesser tracks have a sort of bohemian charm.

[Jim Green]