Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Renaldo & The Loaf-The Elbow Is Taboo (1987)

So I have been noticing a nice trend in music from present to past. The trend in question is that of "brother bands" or "brother" bands. The first is a band with either brothers in it or the members are only brothers. The second is bands that pretend to be brothers. Some examples of the first one are The Sun City girls and The Frogs. Examples of the second are bands like Ween, Barnes and Barnes and these guys right here...Renaldo and the Loaf. Now the common thread between all these bands is, they are weird. Something about them is off, whether it be their lyrical content, their music, or both. In the case of Renaldo and the Loaf it's definitely both. The story of Renaldo and the Loaf goes as such; they were making a lot of lo-fi 4 track recordings in Bristol, which is in the south coast of England. After making a few singles they got noticed by none other than The Residents! They were immediately signed to Ralph Records the record label run by The Residents. They gained some notoriety for being just as weird as The Residents and their mission in the music world seemed to be to alienate as many people as possible. There is always an awkward feeling to every song they have ever made. Yes it is annoying, yes it is weird, yes it doesnt make sense and believe it or not these are all positives to their cause. This music is not made for mass consumption and in the process they made some groundbreaking strides in the evolution of music and this album in question is their final and probably best album.
This album distills early electronic music, hip hopish beats, world music, world tunings, childlike humor and dark disturbing lyrics(sometimes not even real words but more like a madeup language). The songs are consistent and you can hear tons of other bands in the cracks these guys have made. This music is fun, disturbing and very very smart. It sounds a bit childish in parts but its all part of their package. These guys carry my so called "brother band" aesthetic perfectly and I think this stems from(when its blood brothers) a mutual understanding of letting your guard down and just being as fucked up as possible, because, that other brother will always be there in case of rejection. The same goes for the "brother" bands, most of these bands seem so connected in a best friend kind of way that they really dont care at all what the outside world thinks about their music or it gives them the strength to confront the world with some truly out their ideas. To me this is great and I try to have this flow through everything I have done musically to varying degrees of success. Anyways this band is not to be ignored, missed forgotten. Keep their legacy alive and listen to this shit on a daily basis. Sure most of it's ridiculous, but isn't fuck it.


  1. this is totally bizarre and also awesome. I was trying to figure out who else even approaches this level of weirdness as I was listening to the tracks but then I saw that the Residents scooped these guys up, which totally makes sense.

  2. this is my favorite record you've reviewed lately! i've gotta track this down

  3. Oh, have to jump in and say we were never from Bristol...we lived in Portsmouth. But the south coast bit is right. Also Ralph signed us up on the basis of our first home made cassette album - we hadn't released any singles before. But liked the piece...ha jayara! Renaldo