Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Mothmen - Pay Attention

Here's an album I've been after for years: Pay Attention by the Mothmen, a 1981 album on On-U Sound (LP 002). This was actually posted on the "Are Friends Electric" blog some time ago, but it seems to have disappeared. Thankfully a helpful reader who had downloaded it noticed it on my wantlist and sent the files on to me, yippee! It's so good that it deserves more exposure, so I've re-upped it here (or here). The Mothmen have a more rock-oriented sound than any other Adrian Sherwood productions of the same era, and it turns out that's because Sherwood didn't produce them: he merely released the album on his label. The surprising bit is that a band with no influence from Sherwood would fit in so well on On-U Sound. A full history of the band is available here on the unofficial On-U Sound website. The short version is that the Mothmen were formed by ex-members of Alberto Y Los Trios Paranoias, the Durutti Column, and elsewhere; they recorded two albums and a handful of singles before breaking up; and two members went on to be the rhythm section of Simply Red. The whole Mothmen concept may have been a piss-take, but it holds up surprisingly well. The dub-inflected rock beats on Pay Attention never get too lazy, there are plenty of meandering psychedelic solos and flourishes, and even the fourteen-minute-long "The Mothman," which has the look and feel of album filler, at least has a driving beat that keeps it moving. A lost minor classic, in other words. Thanks again to the donor! Now if anyone has a rip of the second Mothmen album, One Black Dot, please get in touch (see my profile for my email address). Update: I've found One Black Dot and posted it here.

6 comments:

Pete Bilderback said...

Thanks for posting this. I'm glad you finally found it. Back when I was in Jr. High School I heard a Mothmen track on WHFS. I thought it was so cool I immediately took a sharpie and wrote "The Mothmen" on my school backpack. I never heard them again until now.

Fantod said...

What a coincidence, I listened to HFS in high school. Never heard the Mothmen there, but got turned on to a lot of other great stuff.

yobber said...

Thank you for this album. Was looking for it for a long time.
Had one song on tape, Afghan farmer.

David Asher said...

I have a copy of One Black Dot on record. Do you still need it? Thanks for this one!

Fantod said...

You're welcome, David. Thanks for the offer, but I have actually found One Black Dot and posted it here. Suppose I should update the main post, too. :-)

F

xisth said...

Brilliant! I've been looking for a CD or download of this for years! Used to love this album (and OBD, but less so) in the early 80s. Cool, thanks a million!