Cross-pollination in England’s ‘pleasant pastures green’ splintered the musical landscapes of the mid-1980s. Post-punk bands imploded, reformed and transcended due to personal differences, creative differences, drug use, and, in the case of Getting The Fear, a reformation at their label, RCA.
Formed by Southern Death Cult’s rhythm section (Barry Jepson, David “Buzz” Burrows, and Aki Haq Nawaz Qureshi), and voiced by Thee Temple Ov Psychick Youth’s captivating and androgynous Paul “Bee”Hampshire (formerly of The Danse Society), the brief-but-beloved Getting The Fear is releasing their collection LP, DEATH IS BIGGER: 1984-1985.
Galvanized by Margaret Thatcher’s “iron fist” austerity policies and the cultural liberation of punk, the group blazed to creative fruition, quickly landing a lucrative deal with RCA. Their first (and only) album showcases the increasingly forking paths facing UK post-punk in 1984. Getting The Fear’s music feels eclectic and unfettered in its flaming youth. The compilation’s 10 tracks are alternately brooding, spiky, and sneering. Razor wire guitars slice through minimalist, melodic rhythms….occasionally flowering into psychedelic poetry, revealing Bee’s deep affinity with Psychic TV.
After RCA’s label shakeup left them stranded and unsupported, Getting The Fear chose to dissolve in order to escape their restrictive contract, paring down to the pair Into a Circle.
Death Is Bigger: 1984-1985 rectifies history’s error, collecting the group’s entire vault of demos and unreleased songs, with copious liner notes and a photo gallery capturing Getting The Fear in all their libertine glory.
Watch the video for Swell below created by Bee Hampshire, and restored by Jacqueline Castel.
Stream the track here: