JASON AND THE ASTRONAUTS: Burn Down The Boys School (7″, Unlabel UN015, ?)

Jason And The Astronauts - Burn Down The Boys School

I bought this 7″ a few years back. I’m not entirely sure when. The label unfortunately didn’t feel fit to include a ‘released on…’ date anywhere within the package. Shocker! Don’t they know that some people live for these facts? Cataloguers of the world need information. Just like in The Prisoner. And like that show’s Number Six, Unlabel defiantly state “you won’t get it!” with their lack of detail.

Unlabel once released a CD album every single week for an entire year, and beyond that they’ve released several tonnes’ worth of vinyl and compact discs, representing and cataloguing the post-rock/underground music scene pretty comprehensively for some years. I’m always impressed when an independent label sticks to their guns, and Unlabel have done that to an extreme level. Bravo. My one criticism? It’s that the packaging on some of their releases in the past hasn’t been entirely up my street, being a kind of über-rational framework of design that includes artist name, track name and imagery in a ridiculously tight and consistent layout.

This record’s packaging, however, is a joy to behold. I’m a sucker for individually-mounted photographs on record sleeves, and have a few examples of such a thing. I presume that there is a different photograph on each of the 200 copies of this record in existence; or at least I hope that there is. The plain brown paper stock is neat-o, too, and works in beauteous harmony with the monochrome photograph and simple typewriter-style lettering.

Musically, I can’t remember what this record sounds like – and unfortunately I’m in no position to find out right now, as I’m deeply involved with listening to my new Lula Côrtes CD that arrived a few days ago. It’s all floating flute and weirdo world music, combined with some of the odd instrumental feelings created by 1970s film soundtrackers Goblin. As I recollect, Jason And The Astronauts are ramshackle, slightly post-something indie noise pop kinda thing. And if that string of words doesn’t make you want to hear more, I don’t know what will…

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