Post-Rocktoberfest: Terminal Cheesecake – King of All Spaceheads (Jackass) 2LP

October 12, 2009 at 9:00 am 9 comments

Terminal Cheesecake - King of All Spaceheads

Terminal Cheesecake - King of All Spaceheads

Congratulations to those of you who are still reading. You have resisted the urge to say: “If it’s by a band called Terminal Cheesecake, I don’t want to listen to it, even if it’s good!” It must have taken quite a leap of faith. The name “Terminal Cheesecake” immediately conjures up the cheery, beery, dog-shit depths of British indie music from the early ’90s – where bands with names like Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine pedalled anthemic dross to drunken sixth-formers.

So, why would anyone with anything to offer name a band something like that? Reports suggest that, early on, this particular band wrote a song called “Terminal Headfuck” and – back in 1994 – if you had any commercial ambitions whatsoever, you just couldn’t have the word “fuck” in your band name, so…

But the fact that the members of this band (allegedly) chose to call a song “Terminal Headfuck” points straight at the real reason they ended up with such a goofy moniker. The reason is: DRUGS. And lots of ’em, if King of All Spaceheads is anything to go by.

“King of All Spaceheads” , the opening track, reaches its halfway point when a vintage radio announcer cuts in with a very important message: “What you’re listening to are musicians performing psychedelic music under the influence of a mind-altering chemical.” Again, you’d be forgiven for jumping ship at this point. Really, why should you be interested in this bunch of drug-addled goof-balls?

Well, the CD of this album was released by Pathological, the label headed by Kevin Martin, a prime mover in the original UK post-rock scene and the man behind God, Techno Animal, Ice, The Bug and many more genre-melting musical projects. If Martin involves himself in anything, you can pretty much guarantee it will be both heavy and interesting.

King of All Spaceheads is certainly both – a monstrous amalgam of arse-quaking guitar sludge and dubbed-out, post-acid house psychedelia. If it has anything in common with dog-shit indie, it’s only insofar as it sounds like Pop Will Eat Itself finally getting serious. Really serious.

Terminal Cheesecake’s best known single “Oily Hot Knife” (originally from the Jackass E.P.) reappears here, titled “Budmeister”. It’s a genuinely hypnotic melding of drunken brutality and psychedelic mania. “Ginge le Geezer” plays a similar trick but stretches it out until the listener is simply beaten into a state of unwilling transcendence.

The record is pressed on low-quality coloured vinyl, which reduces the sound to little more than crackle and low-end boom. Oddly, it works. The second disc is a one-sided live LP, which gives the impression that Terminal Cheesecake live was an even more murky-yet-heady experience than the recorded version. Among the hare-brained jamming, it features a reggae deejay repeatedly calling out the band’s name. You wouldn’t think he’d want to draw attention to it, would you?

Your chances of finding this excellent record are pretty slim. Check the dollar bin or – if all else fails – you can download the whole thing via Sickness Abounds.

Entry filed under: MP3s, post-rock, Post-Rocktoberfest 2009, reviews, UK post-rock. Tags: , , , , .

Post-Rocktoberfest: US Post-Rock Still Doesn’t Suck as Much as You’d Think! Post-Rocktoberfest: UK Post-Rock Volume Five

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. The Duke of Stratosphear  |  October 14, 2009 at 10:59 am


    Interesting that you put Terminal Cheesecake in an early 90’s timeframe as it’s a name which (to me) immediately conjures up memories of Peel c. late 80’s.

    Maybe I’m confusing them with Death By Milkfloat.

  • 2. Biggie Samuels  |  October 14, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Yeah, the name conjurs up that “post-post-punk” scene of goofy Peel approved bands like Bogshed, does it not?

    BTW, a friend of mine knows someone who played bass for TC and who has apparently perused this post and found it wanting, factually speaking.

    To be fair (to me), their isn’t a huge amount of information available on bands like this. I did just stumble across this nugget though: apparently the guitar player from TC also played with A.R. Kane and Skullflower.

    • 3. The Duke of Stratosphear  |  October 14, 2009 at 1:38 pm

      And apparently Gordon J Watson and Simon Doling of ver Cheesecake have at some stage worked with Damo Suzuki.

      But then, who hasn’t?

  • 4. Biggie Samuels  |  October 14, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Yeah, I actually personally know two people in two different cities who’ve played live with Damo Suzuki. But I’m interested to know where you came by that piece of information.

    The guy who played with A.R. Kane is called Russell Smith, for what it’s worth.

    • 5. The Duke of Stratosphear  |  October 14, 2009 at 2:40 pm

      I came by that piece of information on Wiki, so you might like to take it with a pinch of salt. Sounds plausible though.

  • 6. Biggie Samuels  |  October 14, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    This might be a good point to mention one of the factual errors that TC’s bassist pointed out to my friend: the CD of this album was not actually released on Pathological. It came out on Jackass, just like the LP. So where the hell did I get that idea form???

    • 7. The Duke of Stratosphear  |  October 15, 2009 at 12:45 am

      Chinese whispers? It would be about as credible as sourcing Wikipedia. Maybe more so.

      A girl I work with has a friend whose brother’s girlfriend’s stepfather grew up in the same street as the uncle of the singer from Bogshed, and apparently he’s none too pleased at the description of his erstwhile band as “goofy”.

      Or something.

      • 8. Biggie Samuels  |  October 15, 2009 at 4:42 pm

        At this stage, I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised.

        Happy birthday, by the way.

  • […] Cheesecake – “Ginge le Geezer” Terminal Cheesecake is another band that has been previously discussed on this here blog. The phrase “Pop Will Eat Itself finally getting serious” was used. Be […]


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