PEL MEL - "LATE, LATE SHOW" LP
LULUS: Who else could have pulled this off? Apparently over 10 years in the making, Efficient Space present an entirely new pel mel LP, assembled from demos recorded in the mid-80s right before the group disintegrated. Posthumous albums have a fraught history - more often than not songs recorded but not released are that way for a reason, and the concept of a "lost album" has gained a reasonable amount of healthy scepticism. Occasionally though, a group delivers - VU legitimately remains this writer's most listened-to Velvets LP, and The Shivvers' only LP sat of a shelf unreleased for 25 years before taking its rightful place as one of the best power pop albums of the late 70s. You can, without a doubt, place Late Late Show within this esteemed company. Stripped back to their core, these tracks place pel mel's pop sensibilities right in the centre, instantly bringing to mind their contemporaries The Particles (which, wildly enough, are also getting a long-awaited reissue this month), and Philip Brophy's Asphyxiation project, who similarly played with the line between post-punk and disco. These tracks are some of the best pel mel ever recorded, and reflect a band that had at this point been playing and writing together for half a decade or so. A true "lost treasure", treated with the utmost respect it deserves. Very highly recommended.
EFFICIENT SPACE: After a ten year pursuit, Efficient Space finally presents Late, Late Show, the last recordings of influential Sydney-via-Newcastle band pel mel. Taped in the mid-’80s, these charmingly unvarnished sessions pare the combo back to their core, producing blue-collar sophisti-pop to a danceable LinnDrum beat. From the funky disco-not-disco of ‘Mr President’ to the effortless pop perfection of ‘Fool’s House’, the six tracks reveal a creatively open and well-oiled pel mel before they inevitably disbanded.
Formed in early 1979 as a misfit sextet from steel and surf town Newcastle, pel mel were inspired by New York and UK’s post-punk imports. Cutting their teeth speeding through originals and Joy Division, Wire and The Buzzcocks covers every Friday night to a regular turnout of dole bludgers, students and the under-age, the band would also cross-pollinate with electronic-leaning support act The Limp. In 1980, they decamped to Sydney to join the city’s flourishing alternative music scene alongside the likes of Laughing Clowns, Tactics, The Reels, Wild West and the M Squared crew, making an indelible mark with two albums and several singles as the only domestic signee of Factory’s Australasian licensee GAP Records. Catchy and intelligently experimental without being noisy, their musicianship and enduring legacy continues to be lauded by peers.
Undoubtedly some of their strongest output, this previously unreleased demo suite documents pel mel free from the pressures of a commercial outcome, naturally elevating them to a class alongside Orange Juice, Antena and Young Marble Giants.
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