Normil Hawaiians


Normil Hawaiians Dark World (79–81) LP

This is a compilation of singles, demos, outtakes and Peel sessions by this experimental ensemble, and in most cases, if I see the words “experimental” or “dub-inspired” in relation to British post-punk circa ’79–’81, I’m all ears. I adore the POP GROUP, THIS HEAT, and the FLYING LIZARDS, but NORMIL HAWAIIANS have none of the bleeding edge, fiery energy, or avant-garde outness I admire in those bands. Mostly this sounds in the camp of anarcho goth (or gothy anarcho, depending on whether your peanut butter got in the chocolate or vice versa). The songs are mostly a trudge, barring the single “Party Party,” which sounds like an ORANGE JUICE outtake, and their unexpected cover of FRANK ZAPPA’s “Mr. Green Genes”, which mostly inspired me to turn this off and pull out my old copy of Uncle Meat for a spin.

Normil Hawaiians In the Stone / Where Is Living? 7″

Originally a weird, scratchy crypto-anarcho collective on the hippier fringes of early ’80s UK post-punk, NORMIL HAWAIIANS’ return was preceded by Upset The Rhythm reissuing most of their back catalogue. Tentative gig action followed, and now there’s a two-song single of brand new fodder recorded somewhere very remote in Scotland. “In the Stone” grows from an alarmingly cruddy electric guitar intro to a wobbly suite of garage/psych organ, tom-heavy drums and spoken word. “Where Is Living?” on the flip again has a poetic bent, bewailing environmental destruction and “self-made prisons” over soft keyboards and, god love their earnestness, birdsong. Not sure how many copies of this exist, but about six weeks ago I did a serious double-take upon seeing a massive poster (like, “next one down from billboard”-sized) advertising it in the city centre where I live. Guessing the cost of such things is through the floor at the moment, so why not.