Thursday, May 25, 2006

Glasgow's occultists

A band/musician spellbound by the occult (horrible pun intended) is hardly a radical concept (see Page, Bowie). However, Glasgow's The Golden Dawn took that fascination to another level, going as far as naming their band after The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, an organization that traces it roots to a magical fraternity founded in London in the late 1800s. The group also had a penchant for bestowing titles upon gigs (a curious thing that is), titles like "Musick In Theory And Practice," which is a play on the Aleister Crowley book, Magick In Theory And Practice.

Unfortunately, The Golden Dawn's side interests were likely just as talked about as their music, since the outfit's output was minimal at best. There were a pair of seven-inch singles on Sarah Records during the late 1980s, a few tracks on numerous pop compilations with Sarah and Breaking Down Records, and then a comeback of sorts in 2000, as the band cut a single for the Heaven label. That was it.

Hear it for yourself. Download: "George Hamilton's Dead" by The Golden Dawn. The track kicks off with a glossy, fragile melody and then, roughly halfway through, descends into a maelstrom of general guitar racket. It calls to mind shoegazer, but only for a moment. Also, one can't help but think "Stephen Pastel" when first hearing the vocals.

The group also has live versions of songs available for download here.