Reissue of this influential Swedish Post/Proto Punk classic. Comes with bonus 7" and booklet!
Our take: Reissue of this great 1983 Swedish post-punk LP. While the track “Mayhem Troopers” sounds so familiar I’m certain I’d heard the song before, mostly I’m coming to Spinal Injuries fresh, and I’m blown away. According to the booklet accompanying the record, Cortex were a little older than your typical punks, with their leader Freddie Wadling having followed underground music and art since the late 60s, appreciating landmarks like the Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart, and Can as they happened. Interestingly, though, Cortex’s depth of knowledge doesn’t manifest itself in a self-conscious eclecticism, but as a confidence in Cortex’s own unique vision. While their 1981 debut single (included with this reissue as a bonus 7” with picture sleeve) was still formative, Spinal Injuries sounds like a band who has found their voice. By 1983 the world is well into the post-punk era and the record has some of the same trappings as the early Chameleons or Bauhaus, but it sounds like Cortex came to their sound honestly by combining campy pop of glam rock with proto-punk’s drive and UK punk’s heaviness. In fact, I wouldn’t describe Spinal Injuries as a post-punk record (and certainly not a goth record), but a work of idiosyncratic genius like Eno’s Here Come the Warm Jets or the early Television Personalities records. Spinal Injuries doesn’t sound like those records at all, but has a similar way of drifting between timeless and very much of its time. This is a fascinating record, and one I’m very thankful to Sacred Bones for introducing me to. This one will certainly live near my turntable for a good long while.