Something’s Coming Closer, I Can Only Stare

The Comsat Angels

My last posting got me thinking about non-LP in-between LP singles and thought I’d dig up a few from the same era as the Sound over the next few days.

The Comsat Angels actually toured with the Sound in 1981 and they released singles both before and after 2nd LP ‘Sleep No More’ which didn’t make either that LP or its successor.

The 12” of ‘Eye Of The Lens’ was actually the first Comsats record I bought after seeing them support U2 (of all people). Whilst the band could certainly lay claim to being at the doomier end of post punk (particularly on the claustrophobic ‘Sleep No More’) the lyrics on ‘Lens’ are to some degree meant to be humorous although few actually got the joke.

Whilst ‘Sleep No More’ earned masses of critical praise, its uncompromising sound didn’t sell huge quantities of records. So another single ‘(Do The) Empty House’ was an attempt to broaden their sound. It’s a record which heavily relies on the rhythm section of Mik Glashier and Kevin Bacon featuring particularly loud crunching drums. It’s also got a slightly jaunty melody, well by Comsats standards anyway. Despite coming with a free single (a re-recording of their debut single ‘Red Planet’) it wasn’t a hit.

Their third non-LP single was the melancholic ‘It’s History’. This single was far easier on the ears but also a far from a cheery record. And, you guessed it, it wasn’t a hit either.

It was a good pointer for their third LP ‘Fiction’ even though it wasn’t on it as the menace of the earlier LPs was diluted to no commercial gain. After ‘Fiction’ failed to do the business the Comsats were dropped by Polydor and the next stage of their career was something of a train wreck. But that’s a story for another time.

In the meantime, here’s their three in-between albums singles:

The Comsat Angels – Eye of The Lens

The Comsat Angels – (Do The) Empty House

The Comsat Angels – It’s History

On the latest reissues from Renascent, ‘Eye of the Lens’ is an extra track on ‘Sleep No More’ whilst the other 2 singles are on the reissued ‘Fiction’ (although if you come across it you’ll find ‘Empty House’ on the 2001 RPM reissue of ‘Sleep’ rather than ‘Fiction’).

Buy them both here (and debut LP ‘Waiting For A Miracle’ is also a cracker.)