Taman Shud by Taman Shud

Release date: April 2, 2021
Label: Self-Released

TAMAN SHUD return with one final EP; a self-titled fundraiser for Brixton’s The Windmill. It’s both a pleasant surprise, since I was under the impression that we’d never hear the band again and a devastating loss. Truly one of my favourite bands in London, a massive influence and inspiration to me. I hope we at least see a new band spring from the ashes soon.

I feel as though I’ve seen ‘Psalmody of Verdure’ live but, it might just be wishful thinking. The track immediately establishes itself as a perfect embodiment of the band’s signature bass-heavy drive and mysticism. The epic mountain-top vocals Shuddily towering overhead, beguiling yet, indecipherable, I can almost see the words slamming against the kit at some imaginary gig. The hooks monolithically slammed over the listeners head, but certainly accentuated by the keys stand out a great deal on this song. Taman Shud has always had great melodies though.

I was honoured to receive the lyrics to ‘Violet Acid’ after I requested this review. I’ve always wanted to know what the lyrics for Taman Shud songs are and I was really satisfied with the results. “From silent habit/I find a lackless sphere/Resign to violet acid/The final stair”. The lyrics are as eloquent and occult as one would expect and this song particularly lends itself to such poetic, contemplative verbiage. The track’s initial barrage of swirling guitars, gothic keys and drum fills slowly gives way to what feels like an endless descent down a spiral staircase. It feels totally medieval; I love it.

‘Lyudmilla’s Web’ is unfortunately the final track on the release. The track opens with a really cool melody that I can’t quite work out if it’s on the keyboard or guitar, followed by some intense tapping and screaming. It’s fucking great. The vibe reminds me of Oranssi Pazuzu, it’s got a similar German Expressionist Horror film vibe. Spooky and atmospheric and Giger-esque. There’s a great deal of finality in the huge Part Chimp style uppercuts, but I really don’t want to accept that this is the end of Taman Shud. I guess all we can do is leave their discography on repeat and hope that something new will come out of the group.

Overall, this collection is as excellent as any other put out by the group, but it leaves me wanting more. I guess there can never be enough of a band you really love, but I am still extremely pleased that this release exists and that I have it despite how bittersweet I find its finality. The fact that Taman Shud are doing this to support the Windmill is also extremely cool, that venue is crucial to London’s live music scene. It’s outrageous that The Windmill, The Black Heart, and The Lexington were all left by the government to go under and not given any true support or grants to survive. That is the absolute essential triumvirate of music venues we have and yet, as buildings housing counter culture it’s no shock that the Tories want them to be sold off to make room for towers. So, fuck the tories, fuck the rich, support independent venues, counter culture and underground bands. Buy Taman Shud’s final EP now at https://tamanshud1.bandcamp.com/

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