Record Mirror - 1982
The Birthday Party - 'Junk Yard'
Wild-eyed, shaggy haired rock groups who seem to earnestly desire the tag 'psychotic' should be approached with caution, methinks. Bearing this, and a live encounter with the Birthday Party that sent me scurrying for cover, in mind, I attempted to get to grips with their long player.
It resisted. Ranting, screeching voice over sub-Television guitar and hyperactive drums doesn't make for a very palatable mixture, yet every now and again something on this album sounds as if it's about to fall into place. I kept expecting to find some trace of coherent cacophony (as in Theatre of Hate), but was disappointed each time.
Those raincoated, beer-slopping persons who dye their hair black, read Zig Zag and regard Siouxsie as the apotheosis of womanhood are likely to number the Birthday Party amongst their pantheon of heroes, along with Killing Joke and those of their ilk. They are equally likely to buy this LP in droves, but it's doubtful that anyone else will. There's not enough to draw the casual browser into this junkyard; he's more likely to pass it by, even as the faithful hordes queue up at it's gates. + +