My New Fascination: Black Box – Fetish #1

Black Box – Fetish #1

Time for some Australian crossover. Another one of those obscure 80’s acts, this release is actually from 1989 to be precise. I downloaded the album from an obscure blog somewhere and got the taste for it directly. Since they only released one single, there’s not much to compare with to be honest. But they’ve got some saxophone groove going on and some general post-punk with noticeable goth rock as a stable ground. I’m a sucker for these more obscure acts that sometimes develop into something really good, but mostly just become a boring blob of re-cycled musical cliches. What’s great about Australia back in those days, were that they seemed to have a lot of unrecognized acts that employed quite an extraordinary field of expertise and a slight touch of ingeniousness, when it came to being experimental within genres like post-punk and goth. I hadn’t really explored the Australian sound of post-punk and goth when I got into it, I just stayed within the normal barriers of recommendations when it came to goth in general and post-punk, peculiarly.

So, there were some kind of barrier for me to overcome when it came to the sound of that country. They had a totally different edge too it and it wasn’t something I was too keen on. Either they were head-on with their sound and had a great vibe, but couldn’t be fitted into the category of post-punk or goth. Or, in my case, they were too experimental and quirky to get into in the first place. Since it took some time to appreciate it, I delved into it and discovered more and more acts. One of them were Black Box, but since they only released one single, it made me care less about them and more about those bands who had at least released a couple of EPs and albums.

What could be said about them? They sounded a lot more like the UK and US acts than anything else, but had a certain influence they seemed to employ within both of the songs on the single. I can’t really explain what it is, but it feels like I’m being drawn to it the more I listen to both of the songs. The first song was called Fetish #1 and had an unorthodox approach to the whole goth and post-punk crossover thing, whereas they had a different setting when it came to the drums and were more in the sphere of The Birthday Party than anything else. But they seem to be more up-tempo than their counterpart and maybe less insane. Normally saxophones and the likes of it fit the post-punk sound-scape perfectly, but I just didn’t know how to react on having a saxophone in a song that had a more gothic undertones than anything else. Somehow all these influences just magically worked together, which is insane when you think about it. I’d say that the second song on the single, titled Poison Shadows, is the more melancholic one. Here you can hear the goth rock influences more overtly than as an undertone or stability to it. It sounds like they’ve gone all-out and carve their way through a more down-tempo environment than the more up-tempo song Fetish #1.

However, you should try to find this single and listen to it more closely. Tune in to it and feel the joy.