[Album Review] “Formaldehyde” – Terrorvision

Formaldehyde - TerrorvisionAlbum Title: Formaldehyde
Artist: Terrorvision
Year: 1993
Running Time:45m 54s

Track listing: 1 Problem Solved; 2 Ships That Sink; 3 American TV; 4 New Policy One; 5 Jason; 6 Killing Time; 7 Urban Space Crime; 8 Hole for a Soul; 9 Don’t Shoot My Dog; 10 Desolation Town; 11 My House; 12 Human Being

When Terrorvision slid somewhat untentatively onto the alternative rock scene in 1992, they were quickly dismissed by the British rock press as bubble-gum rock, and in some cases, utter tripe. Their riff-heavy, quirky and unusual brand of up-tempo rock music, as well as their peculiar and somtimes simplistic lyrics, made them hard to categorise – and the upper echelons didn’t like it.

But in a trend that lasted their ten-year career, Terrorvision were an impossible band to hate. Their debut LP is difficult to dismiss. Opening with the heavy ‘Problem Solved’, a song jazzed up no-end by interesting time-changes, ‘Ships That Sink’ and ‘American TV’ continue the groove-heavy direction. ‘New Policy One’ seems to borrow heavily from the Police’s ‘Every Breath You Take’ but again the vibrancy of the band’s sound and soothing urgency of Tony Wright’s vocals give the song a unique feel.

Few songs sound familiar to each other. ‘My House’ is a slightly irritating folk-rock number, ‘Jason’ a rock-out number about a man lost in hate and anger, ‘Killing Time’ the closest the band come to a ballad. ‘Desolation Town’ is a mainly acoustic number about loneliness – including the imaginative line “My car was built the same year Hendrix died”. ‘Human Being’ is a superb album closer, downbeat but conversely full of energy.

Some other stuff isn’t quite up to scratch. ‘Urban Space Crime’ sounds too much like the sort of riff a dodgy eighties hair-outfit like WASP might have put out, and ‘Hole for a Soul’ is funky for a while before getting lost in a rather dull story and duller chorus.

But overall this is a very strong debut and worth picking up.

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