• Prolapse
  • Crate EP (UK Cherry Red) 1994 
  • Doorstop Rhythmic Block EP (UK Cherry Red) 1994 
  • Pointless Walks to Dismal Places (UK Cherry Red) 1994 
  • Pull Thru' Barker EP (UK Cherry Red) 1994 
  • Backsaturday (UK Lissy's) 1995  (Jetset/Big Cat) 1996 
  • The Italian Flag (Jetset) 1997 
  • Ghosts of Dead Aeroplanes (UK Cooking Vinyl) 1999 

The year 1993 might not have seemed an auspicious time for new initiatives in post-Sonic Youth noise pop. A motley gaggle of archaeology students and practitioners of experimental drama might not have seemed the people for the job, and English sleaze-rock backwater Leicester was definitely not the place. Somehow, Prolapse made this kind of activity fun again. As unappealing as the prospect of droning guitar, grinding bass riffs and pounding drums — garnished with the destruction of whatever discarded household appliances might be gleaned from the streets in the vicinity of the show — sounds, Prolapse stands apart from the art bores by its liveliness, submerged humor and preference for driving rhythmic grooves over self-indulgent fretwank. The most arresting part of the sextet’s performance (often unsettling even for the initiated) is the unpredictable and generally tempestuous interaction between the two vocalists: sensitive souls in the audience tremble as the huge, hairy Scot Mick Derrick attacks the diminutive Linda Steelyard verbally and physically — yet it is generally the larger contender who takes away the more serious injuries.

Ten of Prolapse’s best tunes appeared on three 1994 EPs, which proved that the group could be enjoyed as pop music in the security of one’s own home; eight more followed on the band’s first album at the end of that year. This was not the grim listening experience that the title Pointless Walks to Dismal Places or the listing of such titles as “Headless in a Beat Motel” or “Hungarian Suicide Song” might portend.

Perhaps disappointed that these offerings failed to bring them to a less discerning audience, though, Prolapse was not as prolific in 1995, releasing only a couple of singles and Backsaturday, an “interesting” second album recorded in a couple of days without the precaution of writing songs before rolling the tape. Beyond the occasional melody (see “TCR,” one of the two American edition add-ons, which makes good use of counterpoint singing) and flashes of dynamic variety (“Framen Fr. Cesar”), the lock grooves and loosely declaimed vocals suggest the Fall with a different accent.

[Peter Momtchiloff]