In founding Swell Maps, the post-punk prefacing Birmingham art-snots, Nikki Sudden and his drumming brother Epic Soundtracks charted new territory for racket and corrosive guitar. But after folding Swell Maps at the dawn of the ’80s, Nikki Sudden plowed through another decade’s worth of terrifically fertile ground. Drawing on his devotion to the Rolling Stones and T. Rex—alongside guitarist Dave Kusworth as Jacobites, plus a cheekily named cohort of British sidemen—Nikki Sudden cut a string of raw, inspired rock ‘n’ roll records, etched with double edged travel melancholia and hard-bitten punk dejection.
Nikki Sudden’s collaboration with former Birthday Party guitarist Rowland S. Howard peaked with Kiss You Kidnapped Charabanc, the duo’s 1987 first and only full length. Howard’s sinister guitar flourishes and malevolent lyrical motifs lead Sudden’s paisley-clad disposition into murkier waters, drudging the same sludge inhabited by The Gun Club and Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds. Unhinged slide guitars, noise and primal drumming draw up demented pacts forged in the blood of Southern Gothic swamp stomp and Depression-era devotionals—tales of lovers and demons split between the vocal transmissions of the two minds behind this goth-steeped, blues-punk essential.
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