The Garbage and the Flowers: Eyes Rind As If Beggars album review

887396736764The Garbage and the Flowers – Eyes Rind As If Beggars (Fire Records)


Out Now

A reissue of the double album by New Zealand’s The Garbage and the Flowers, is lo-fi and Velvets influenced, Adrian Bloxham has been listening to it for Louder Than War, see what he thinks below.

The Garbage and the Flowers are from New Zealand, this was released as a double album back in 1997. This is a collection of twenty five songs, mostly of rough quality and many an exercise in discord.

The overriding feeling coming from this collection is that the Garbage and the Flowers really really like the Velvet Underground. They use the sawing and off centre strings like John Cale and the repetitive droning guitars come straight from the Velvet’s first two albums. That’s not to say that they don’t bring anything of their own to the table, it seems that this album is made up of half finished ideas, they give the impression that there is so much that they want to get out that as soon as songs are done they seem to move straight   on to the next idea. Some of these tunes are not much more than demo quality. The freshness of the ideas are somewhat squashed by the struggle to hear through the foggy mix and the sprawling sound.


There are quiet, delicate moments like ‘Love Comes Slowly Now’ and ‘Born in the Dark Dear’ and utterly discordant messes like ‘Rosicrucinn Lovers’. There are different versions of songs ranging from demos, live recordings and ‘studio’ versions. The studio versions sound a little better produced than most of the music here but the difference is nominal. ‘Lucy in Her Pink Jacket’ sounds like a rudimentary indie tune both in the original and the studio version.

Most of the songs here are rough and ready Velvet Underground influenced sprawls. Which is great if that’s what you want from an album. I found that the more interesting moments were when they moved away from the muddy swamp of sound into quieter moments and the short quiet song that ends the album ‘No One Will Ever Know’, a lament for unrequited love. My favourite song on the album is the studio version of ‘Carousel’ which makes it’s stretched out guitar noises sound strong and vibrant.

The Garbage and the Flowers double album is a hard record to get through, but if the Velvet sound is what you love this will be a welcome addition to your collection.

The Garbage and the Flowers can be found on Discogs here. They are also on Facebook.

All words by Adrian Bloxham. More work by Adrian on Louder Than War can be found here.

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