Where's the matter

by Suicide Highlife

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    A mint, unplayed copy of the original "McCarthyville" 12 inch ep released by the band in 1988, with full black and blurry grey artwork (um...some of it didn't come out too well) including insert.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Where's the matter via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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    edition of 50 

      £5 GBP

     

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about

Small Bear Records (www.smallbearrecords.com) are mightily chuffed to present the first anthology of recordings by the semi-legendary (well, in their own minds, at any rate) Suicide Highlife:

Ronan McBride - Vocals
Guy Rigby - Bass
Sel Callister - Guitar
Phil Reynolds - Guitar/keys
Ross McDonald - Drums

Suicide Highlife Formed in Douglas, Isle of Man in 1987. Guy, Ronan and Phil had previously been in indie hopefuls Slaughterhaus 5, while Selwyn had formed in the Disco Laxatives - arguably the Island’s first punk band - and latterly the Klever Shirts, by way of proto-goth epic miserablists The Cry. Ross played drums and listened to a lot of Reggae, and was the prime mover behind local freaky psychedelic weirdos The Distant Relations of Daphne. Inspired largely by C86 luminaries like The Wedding Present, McCarthy, The Mackenzies and Half Man Half Biscuit amongst others, they cut an impressive, if largely ignored, rug across the Isle of Man’s otherwise pretty staid gig scene for a couple of years in the late 1980s, all Jesus Christ pose and feedback attitude. Glossing over the usual massive acrimony involved in band splits, the songs on this anthology comprise tracks from the band’s one and only release - the 12” single McCarthyville, which was released to no acclaim in 1988 and a selection of tracks culled from home demos. Also included is an outtake from the recording sessions for the single and the last track the band wrote together (as a bonus we've also added two tracks by Slaughterhaus 5, the band Phil, Guy and Ronan were in before Suicide Highlife).

With the exception of the single tracks, it’d be something of a stretch to call any of the tracks here “professional”, but sonic limitations aside, they capture the attitude and energy of Suicide Highlife pretty well. They were cobbled together from various sources - tracks 1, 2, 3 and 9 were taken from an unplayed vinyl copy of the “McCarthyville! 12” single. Tracks 4 and 5 were taken from a cassette mixdown of the - now long-lost - 4-track masters made at the time of the recording. Tracks 6 and 7 were remixed from the original 4-track cassette master recordings and subjected to some intensive jiggery-pokery by Phil, with some help from Waves V8 vst plugins and vodka. Track 8 was recorded at the House in the Woods during the sessions for the single, but was left off, a decision which now seems a bit mad. As the reel-to-reel masters have long been missing presumed, well, gone, this copy was taken from one of the only cassette copies still extant, which explains the overall crappiness of the sound and the massive dropouts towards the end. Track 10 was recorded live to 4-track in Phil’s flat, probably towards the end of winter 1988 and was long considered lost until compulsive archivist Simon Pott turned up a cassette copy he’d taken of it. It’s a few generations down the line, and not much of a song, but it’s the last thing the band ever wrote or played together, so we’ve included it here.


McCarthyville
Where’s the matter?
Play actor’s death
McBride/Rigby/Reynolds/McDonald/Callister
Produced by Suicide Highlife
Engineered by Simon Milton
Recorded at the House in the Woods, Easter 1988
- From the 12” Single McCarthyville, FOAD MF records

Cheated in everything that moved
There have been times (when I’ve wanted to kill you)
McBride/Rigby/Reynolds/McDonald/Callister
Recorded on 4-track by Anglin Buttimore at Trinity Church, Douglas, early 1988

Heart in my mouth
Hey! Jesus
McBride/Rigby/Reynolds/McDonald/Callister
Recorded on 4-track by the band at Trinity Church, Douglas, winter 1987
Mixed by Phil Reynolds, January 2012

Fall from grace
McBride/Rigby/Reynolds/McDonald/Callister
Produced by Suicide Highlife
Engineered by Simon Milton
Recorded at the House in the Woods, Easter 1988
- outtake from the sessions for McCarthyville 12”

(Another) McCarthyville
McBride/Rigby/Reynolds/McDonald/Callister
Produced and edited by Ross McDonald and Simon Milton
Engineered by Simon Milton
Recorded at the House in the Woods, Easter 1988
- From the 12” Single McCarthyville, FOAD MF records

Chatshow comedy game host
McBride/Rigby/Reynolds/McDonald/Callister
Recorded live to 4-track at Phil’s flat, sometime in late 1988

Equus
Liberal Love
McBride/Rigby/Reynolds/Wilkinson/Thomas
Recorded live to 4-track, Derby Square, Douglas sometime in 1986

All tracks mastered by Phil Reynolds, January 2012.

credits

released February 14, 2012

All songs McBride/Rigby/Reynolds/McDonald/Callister*, "McCarthyville" single engineered by Simon Milton at the House in the Woods, Easter 1988. All songs produced by Suicide Highlife. Mastering and remixing by Phil Reynolds, January 2012.

*except "Equus" and "Liberal Love" by McBride/Rigby/Reynolds/Wilkinson/Thomas

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about

Suicide Highlife Isle of Man

Suicide Highlife Formed in Douglas, Isle of Man in 1987. Inspired largely by C86 luminaries like The Wedding Present, The Woodentops, The Mackenzies and Half Man Half Biscuit amongst others, they cut an impressive, if largely ignored, rug across the Isle of Man’s otherwise pretty staid gig scene for a couple of years in the late 1980s, all Jesus Christ pose and feedback attitude. ... more

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Track Name: McCarthyville
When freedom has become a taboo phrase
And bloodlust senators shout “Damn yr fifth amendment!”
It seems that this once golden land has bolted up its doors
And must go through Hellfire to cleanse its soul

It was a chance to toil with sweat and tears
It’s even worse to lose hope in McCarthyville
And they seemed to promise us their better world
But we’re stuck in ruts in McCarthyville

When the dollar in the pocket pays for contra rockets
And politicians feed themselves on dope dealings
It seems that this country has taken a batch of terror-colonels
And held them up as heroes to tomorrow's leaders
Track Name: Where's the matter
Still angry young man with burning questions
Pretending words can solve all (ills)
I have reached the point
Where I’m way past caring
Good intentions won’t pay my bills
I’m way past caring

Where’s the matter my friend?
Was it belief or was it a trend?
Idealists keep selling me their view
Of this world
Of this world

Men talk of bombs until in tatters
A war would do what’s about to be (done)
I have reached the point
Where my words have no bearing
Will leaders build themselves into walls?
I have reached the point
Where my words have no bearing
Track Name: Play actor's death
Life is for life
For those called givers
Don’t ask me why
I’m not into living

Deep down in my soul
I’ve always known I’d have to go
Deep down in my soul
My world centered around one thing

The world and I didn’t make a marriage
We decided on divorce a long time ago
I don’t know if there’s a heaven
God only knows it must be better
God must have made something better

Death is just death
Plain and straightforward
They call me a coward
Of the first order

Can you see a blue horizon?
I can’t put my finger on anything
Can you see a blue horizon?
You reach out to pull me in