# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Doomed Bird of Providence - The Bell of the Jardines/The Death Flurry

  by Dominic B. Simpson

published: 27 / 1 / 2012

Doomed Bird of Providence - The Bell of the Jardines/The Death Flurry
Label: Front and Follow
Format: CDS


Compelling new double A-sided single from unique-voiced London-based outfit the Doomed Bird of Providence, which looks at the gruesome fates that fell upon two different sets of early Australian explorers

Early Australia must have been a bummer of a place to hang out in. That much is captured plenty by the nautical murder ballads which enigmatic outfit the Doomed Bird of Providence have released in the last year or so, including an extraordinary frniy album in ‘Will Ever Pray’. Indeed, the band’s singer, Mark Kluzek, an Australian transplanted to the UK, sounds even more wracked and pained than before on this double-A side, housed in a beautiful front cover with a black etching courtesy of the Manchester-based Front & Follow label, his voice capturing the sheer brutality and unbridled misery that must have plagued the early convicts some 220 years ago. As recounted in Robert Hughes’ authoritative historical tome, ‘The Fatal Shore’ – a book from which TDBOP take their name from (the species of birds in question are now sadly extinct) – the unfortunate souls would have found themselves shackled for six months or more on a boat travelling from the UK to Australia, before enduring even worse treatment once there in hellhole penal colonies such as Norfolk Island and Van Diemen’s Land (the latter now Tasmania). It’s a familiar subject to that explored by fellow Australians the Drones, whose album ‘Gala Mill’ contained songs such as ‘Words From the Executioner to Alexander Pearce’ and ‘Sixteen Straws’ - both long, lyrically dense, harrowing accounts of escaped convicts, cannibalism, lashes, and damnation in the fledging nation. On ‘Will Ever Pray’, a middle section of the album consisted of a dramatic five-song segue entitled ‘The Massacre’; while mostly instrumental (bringing their characteristic mix of accordion, violin, ukuleles and funeral dirge-like percussion to the fore), the group of songs also contained lyrics recounting a bloody slaughter on a boat, including references to cutting out tongues and other gruesome acts. ‘The Bell of the Jardines/The Death Flurry’ are equally as lyrically vivid, the former track recounting with lines like “the pits of hell” the tale of an explorer called Frank Jardine, who succumbed to leprosy after journeying through the then “uncharted land” of North East Australia, leading to “death, disaster and pain”. ‘The Death Flurry’, meanwhile, recounts the exploits of a group of whaling Norfolk Islanders, who met their “watery graves” while harpooning (it also references a painting of the same name by English-Australian artist Oswald W. Brierly). With its exquisite ukulele breakdown in the middle before the climax, where an unexpected heavy guitar solo positions itself at the centre of the song, it’s a compelling end to a spellbinding new release from this most unique of bands.

Track Listing:-
1 The Bell Of The Jardines
2 The Death Flurry

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