The disturbing noise/chaos level achieved by this angular Ladbroke Grove (London) trio — formed by singer/guitarist Keith Dobson after the dissolution of his previous band, 012 — is indeed something marvelous. The astonishing high-pressure racket of Let’s Play Domination‘s opening salvo (“Message for You People”) may send you rushing to the turntable to see if your stylus is accidentally gouging a hole in the platter. Besides sturdily unsettling originals, the album — clearly a stiff-upper-lip cousin to Big Black, Birthday Party and other punishing pain-inflicters — includes a relatively straight rendition of L.L. Cool J’s “I Can’t Live Without My Radio” as well as deranged interpretations of Lipps, Inc.’s “Funkytown” and a U-Roy number. As Dobson layers on the scathing, slithery guitar and sings in a plain, serviceable voice, the rhythm section lurches and pounds in a tight phalanx; producer Dave Allen captures the entire meltdown with thrilling clarity.
Judging by their 12-inch singles, all of which contain alternate mixes, WDE is big on remixes, which makes the release of Dub Domination — eight album tracks given studio massages — no big surprise. Love from Lead City, packaged to look like a bootleg, with no information or credits, is a crude live record (with no hint of an audience’s presence) that features spare but crushing renditions of such headbutts as “Funkytown,” “Message for You People” and the political “Asbestos Lead Asbestos,” a song originally from 012’s album.