Eleventh Hour Adventists: Eleventh Hour Adventists  LP   (Emotional Response Records)

Release date: June 7, 2019

Bio: Eleventh Hour Adventists: a collaboration between JASMINE PENDER (aka solo artist Rotten Bliss) and highly regarded post-punk legend JOWE HEAD (ex Swell Maps, Television Personalities). They met ten years ago at a concert by German avant-garde noise band Einsturzende Neubaten, which is a clue to the depraved tastes that they share, and the way that they get their kicks.

Their collaboration is one of equal but balancing elemental forces, like hot engine oil poured into freezing water, or volcanic lava thrown high into the arctic air; a weird kind of alchemy. Their debut album together is intoxicating, brewed from their diseased imaginations into a strange synthesis of psych-folk, punk sleaze and ambient drone.

Their voices have a unique effect together, unearthly and chilling; with harmonies twisting together in strange ways. This is no ordinary cozy duet, people, no crooning turtle doves here. This is nasty stuff that your parents should have steered you away from! There are a couple of murder ballads, (both with a twist of gender reassignment to keep it all a bit more unsettling).

“Crow Jane” is a so-called traditional song, probably best known from the version by American blues singer Skip James. There is menace in Jasmine’s delivery, and even Jowe sounds scared of her. “Handsome Billy” is a cruel duet. It’s distantly related to an ancient Appalachian ballad called “Pretty Polly”, (but don’t worry too much about that. They’d rather ransack an old song than be overly authentic). What do you think this is: a museum, or a library? No way!

Their original songs are also peculiar and twisted. Jowe contributes “Osiris and Isis”, which is about indecent carnal relations between siblings, and a creepy tune called “Satellite” which appears to be about voyeurism, surveillance and technology. There is also “Tempelhof”, about an abandoned airfield in Berlin, and “Scapegoat”, dedicated to outsiders everywhere. Jasmine offers "Wonder Blunts the Knife", a dawn prayer full of tense revelations, and “Memento”, a nihilistic groove celebrating the advantages of being dead. The tracks were recorded mainly live, to try to capture the uncanny thrill that they generate live on stage. No easy task, like trying to bottle thunder, or freeze-dry lava. In these sessions they usually played accompanied by a drummer, mostly using Jonas Golland of the Tiger Lillies, and also Ravi Low-Beer from Jowe’s band Infernal Contraption.

The instrumentation consists of Jasmine’s electric cello, a malevolent rasping creature, and Jowe manipulates greasy slide guitar, a strange beast called a mandocello, which is like a huge rusty mandolin, and an antique German zither that he found in an old church. And a peculiar old analogue synthesizer that only he can control, somehow.