Viv Albertine’s EP is her first release in twenty-five years. Whatever she has been up to in that time (the press release doesn’t say – and the reputation of the Slits is one that you would always be respectful to one of its members), she is now back recording and playing live with her band Limerence, and signed to Ecstatic Peace. Ecstatic Peace is the label run by Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, so utterly cool that it makes the likes of Sub Pop, Matador and Domino look like mere wallflowers by comparison.
Over the course of four songs, Ms. Albertine sets out her stall again, with four tracks that show that she was definitely a member of one of the most adventurous groups ever, and all these years after Cut, the Slits’ peerless debut, she can produce stuff that has a serious edge. This is music that is deeply personal, that still has a pop sensibility and is completely on her own terms. Original Slits drummer Palmolive went on to join the Raincoats and in many ways this solo EP reminds me far more of their debut than that of the Slits. Opening track ‘Never Come’ holds its own with anything the Slits or Raincoats produced, indeed the whole EP does. The first band she was in, Flowers of Romance also featured Keith Levene (who would join PiL), the aforementioned Palmolive and one Sid Vicious. The influences of the past are here but she’s not looking backwards.
It’s an EP that benefits from frequent listening and from repeated playing -already this evening I’ve played it three times, and I’m likely to give it another spin again soon.