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Skyclad: No Daylights Nor Heeltaps

British folk-thrashers Skyclad drop the thrash on their first album since the departure of singer and band founder Martin Walkyier. No Daylights Nor Heeltaps — a title that must be full of English meaning I simply don’t understand — sounds like a night of frivolity at ye olde pub, which I’m sure is exactly how Skyclad intended it to sound. After all, the album is an attempt to recreate a September night back in 1997 when the band capped an in-store promotional tour of Germany with an unplugged set in a Heilbronn bar. After taking that concept on the road to pubs across Europe with the intent to record some of the shows — damn near impossible to do satisfactorily "due to the drink-addled nature of these happenings," the band writes in the liner notes — Skyclad decided to rework some of the material from past albums into electric-tinged acoustic folk studio versions sans Walkyier. The result is No Daylights Nor Heeltaps, with newbie Kevin Ridley on vocals and backed by four ample players. Think Tempest meets The Chieftains by way of introduction from The Ramones.

Not only is this a great drinking album, but it's loaded with fun double entendres and some of Skyclad's best lyrical material. "Spinning Jenny," for example, is an ode to fellatio and infidelity: "Her sweetmeats are the souls of men/She’ll gorge herself to bursting/For yours her heart is thirsting/As a spider craves a fly/No mortal man could ever hope to suit her as a suitor/She’ll rewrite the Karma Sutra/If you care to watch her try." Meanwhile, song titles like "Sins of Emission," "Land of the Rising Slum" and "Single Phial" revel in numerous plays on words, which are more audible now that Walkyier isn't spewing them.

No Daylights Nor Heeltaps doesn’t give a lot of indication where Skyclad will go next, and the album has sort of a stopgap feel to it. But at least the band is continuing. A second bonus CD accompanies some copies of No Daylights Nor Heeltaps, which contains five more tracks performed in the same vein as the 10 on the first disc. Drink up…

Added: August 28th 2002
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Offical Skyclad Web Site
Hits: 2869
Language: english

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