A Trip To Marineville is the seminal debut album from Brummie art punks Swell Maps, released the same month as Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures but decidedly less buttoned-up. Influenced by psych, prog, krautrock and television puppet shows (they were barely teens when they formed in 1972 as Sacred Mushroom), the six-piece rode the "anyone can do it!" wave set in motion by the Sex Pistols all the way, making up for their musical incapacities by playing fiercely and unconventionally; donning individual names like Phones Sportsman, Epic Soundtracks, Jowe Head and Biggles Books (and Nikki Sudden, and Golden Cockrill). At its most brutal (“Midget Submarines,” “Vertical Slum,” “Spitfire Parade”), Marineville rages like the house fire depicted on the cover, but these ferocious blasts are punctuated by disarmingly stripped-down passages (“Don’t Throw Ashtrays At Me,” “Gunboats,” “Adventuring Into Basketry,” “Bridge Head”) depicting the lads’ vision for the potential of punk. Not to mention their perverted takes on surf rock (“Loin Of The Surf”) funk (“Doctor At Cake”) and rockabilly (“Steven Does”). You can clearly hear the album’s influence on the sound of Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr. and Stereolab (Tim Gane: “When I first bought A Trip to Marineville I must have played it a hundred times or more, just to listen to every single second of it”). Originally released on Rough Trade in 1979, this nice reissue comes courtesy of Secretly Canadian (Jane also available) complete with the original bonus 7-inch and download code, recommended.
- black vinyl pressing
- includes bonus 7-inch with repro artwork
- digital download included
- music label: Secretly Canadian 2012
reviewed by cake shop boi 06/2019