Venus Beads: Incision


Stoke’s Venus Beads released Incision on Roadrunner in 1991. My friend Phil was in Stoke at the time and did me a tape, which I thought was pretty good. We were both into post-hardcore US bands and keen to find similar music in the UK, which in the early 1990s meant bands like the Venus Beads: noisy guitars falling somewhere between thrash and showgaze, songs you could sing along with, interesting structures and arrangements. I didn’t ever have the chance to see them live, but the cassette got a lot of play (I can’t quite remember what was on the other side, but it was one of those tapes that got fast-forwarded a lot so I could listen to Incision again).

Having one of those nostalgic moods recently I decided to track down the CD. The songs still sound great – but the production is really quite weird. I don’t know enough about these things to put my finger on on what’s wrong with it, but it sounds pretty messy. Still, the music shines through and is well worth a listen. I hadn’t really thought about the way that some of the longer songs, like ‘Another Door Closes’ or ‘Ghosts of Summer Past’, develop into quite involved pieces of music that must have been tremendously exciting live.

Here are a couple of track: the closest thing they had to a hit, and the longer and more complicated opening track.

Moon is Red‘ – Incision – Venus Beads

Treading Water‘ – Incision – Venus Beads

And a video of ‘Moon is Red’, showcasing the industrial architecture of the Potteries 🙂




About jkneale

BothBarsOn's London correspondent.

Posted on April 11, 2009, in Album reviews and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I really like this. Where do Mega City Four fit into post-hardcore US bands in the UK? Probably nowhere, but I thought I’d ask…

  2. hmm… they were nearby neighbours in the early 90s venn diagram, but I never got into them or the Senseless Things in the same sort of way. Bands like this lot and Leatherface seemed more authentically… gnarled, rather than gnarly.

  3. I have both of their CDs. I was introduced to them by my college boyfriend in ’91 who was the kind of person to randomly buy albums based on artwork and obscure sounding band names hoping to discover a gem or two. I really liked them and a few years later I found ‘Black Aspirin’ in a dollar bin so I had to pick it up. I still enjoy listening to both when I’m alone, driving in the car.

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