Now that blog culture has come full circle, there are very few “holy grails” left to uncover. However, this LP has achieved near mythic status to me over the years after hearing a loose track ages ago. I don’t even remember how I came across the track, and having it tagged improperly didn’t help much, as it took me some time to figure out that the band name was The Chyldren and not The Children. Either way, I was always curious to hear the rest of it, and here we have it, another donation that comes courtesy of xerfrank. Thanks again!
All talk aside, this record, like VHF and Eleven Pond before it, deserves it’s mythic status, less so based on the quality of the recording but moreso because it was never *officially* released. Sure, there are copies of it out there, especially if you’ve got $700 to spare, but good luck finding this one in your local record store. The story behind it is simple: band makes record, record goes to print in 1987, record does not make it past the test pressing phase. It should be self explanatory, but in case you’re not a vinyl collector or of a younger generation, test pressings are simply copies of an album used to gauge the quality of a pressing, as anomalies, variables, and errors can be rather commonplace. Now in my experience, there’s usually only four or five test pressings of a given record, mostly for individual band members or label personnel. With that in mind, I’m not sure how 8 people (or more, since discogs records are never 100% accurate) came across a test pressing, but I suppose it could be possible that they pressed more of these than usual to be sold at shows or given away to friends. Either that, or some people on discogs are theoretical collectors. All copies of this album come complete with a (rather goofy) cover/sleeve that looks professional, but the inner label is handwritten, as shown here in photos.
Now, let’s talk a bit about the music. You might expect this record to be a complete novelty, judging from the goofy cover, terrible font choices, and religious themed psuedonyms used by the three band members (my personal favorite is Lucifer the Cross, though your mileage may vary). Well, it’s not. The album is a rather good, if but a little one-dimensional synth-driven record that utlizes the same bombastic drum machine pattern and vocal melody on almost every track. So, while the band certianly doesn’t take themselves too seriously, even on the compositional side of things, there are some nice gems to be found here, even if they all sound pretty interchangeable with each other. The good news is that the album is rather short- 7 tracks in 25 minutes, so as long as you like the vibe, it doesn’t overstay its welcome.
You know, it’s funny that I mentioned both VHF and Eleven Pond up there, as this album almost comes across like a hybrid of both records, combining the synth-heavy, toe-tapping catchiness of VHF with the darkwave/Factory records vibes of Eleven Pond. The religious themes also remind me heavily of Eyes of God, but in all honesty, this LP sounds like a long lost, fully synth-driven cousin of Sanity Plexus, but I digress. Check this one out for yourself.
The Chyldren- Mortis Hora LP
1. Private Crucifixion
3. Chase Me
6. Fade Away
*download it here*