The British band Coil played the most physically overwhelming live concert I’ve ever attended. 60 minutes of experimental pop and unbelievable noise that hit me right in the stomach and literally made me as nauseous as I was impressed.
Coil’s John Balance passed away on November 13, 2004. His death shook me more than I would have expected, perhaps because we exchanged a handful of letters in the early 90s, perhaps because I found his music profoundly affecting, even if I haven’t been an active ‘fan’.
Although I prefer their album Horse Rotorvator, I’m recommending Scatology which has a link, albeit tenuous, to U2 in the song Tenderness of Wolves, the lyrics and vocals of which are provided by Gavin Friday.
Scatology also contains a cover of the Soft Cell hit ‘Tainted Love’ — performed slowly, eerily like a funeral dirge. Returning the favour, perhaps, Soft Cell’s Marc Almond (under the pseudonym Raoul Revere) makes an appearance singing backing vocals on two songs.
Scatology is cinematic, scabrous, ambitious and quite frankly, not for everyone. But if you’re the kind of U2 fan who applauded their efforts in The Passengers, you may just have an appetite for Coil.