Thursday 3 September 2015

Review: Venus Fly Trap – 'Metamorphosis (1987 – 2007)'

'Metamorphosis (1987 – 2007)'

Northampton based alternative rockers Venus Fly Trap last studio release was back in 2011 with the criminally underrated 'Nemesis', and with the promise of new material round the corner it seems only right that their legacy is revisited with a vinyl re-release of their two-decade encompassing best of selection. Charting the band's rise from their roots in the 1980's Midlands goth scene across their seminal early singles and into their post-millennial output.

Venus Fly Trap were always a hard band to pin down. Not quite post-punk, not quite goth. Not quite avant-garde, not quite electronic. They mixed and matched genre conventions with ease to create an experimental yet always accessible core sound. It's easy to hear elements of deathrock, post-punk, gothic, new wave, industrial and even psychedelia-tinged garage rock in the tracks assembled here.

The band have been very selective and kept the selection short and full of impact with choice cuts such as their brilliant covers of 'Rocket USA' and 'Human Fly', as well as 'Morphine', 'Europa', 'Achilles Heel', ‘Pulp Sister’, ‘Metropolis’, and ‘Gemini Lounge’ being worth the price of admission alone. They have avoided to throw in b-sides, remixes and rarities and have created a lean, strong and definitive “best of” track list that is a perfect introduction to the band's legacy.

With the songs being drawn from across multiple releases over twenty years the recording and mixing quality of the songs varied. But the album has been mastered and crafted with attention paid to this and the end result sees the tracks come together and stand shoulder to shoulder nicely.

'Metamorphosis (1987 – 2007)' is a straight-to-the-point and no nonsense best of that simultaneously shows the band's strongest cuts as well as just how diverse they can be. It is a “best of” that does exactly what it sets out to do and provides a definitive overview of the band's career. This vinyl re-release is long-overdue and a must-have for long-time fans. 

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