These Immortal Souls

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These Immortal Souls was an Australian post-punk band based in Europe and active through the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The band consisted of Rowland S. Howard (guitar and vocals), Genevieve McGuckin (keyboards), Epic Soundtracks (drums) and Harry Howard (bass). The band formed in Berlin in 1987 when McGuckin joined the three ex-members of Crime & the City Solution.

Their first single, "Marry Me (Lie! Lie!)", and debut LP, Get Lost (Don't Lie!), were released the same year on Mute Records, followed by tours of Europe (Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, France, Scandinavia, UK) and a 35 date tour of America where their album was released by SST Records. Howard, McGuckin and Lydia Lunch also collaborated on the album Honeymoon In Red in 1982. It was released on Lydia Lunch's Widowspeak label in 1987 and featured ex-Birthday Party members Tracy Pew, Mick Harvey and Nick Cave and Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth.

These Immortal Souls released their first album Get Lost, (Don't Lie!) in 1987 and held successful "gigs" in Europe and America, only returning to Australia for a short tour in 1988. Only two music videos by These Immortal Souls were broadcast on the ABC music video show Rage. The songs were "Marry Me (Lie! Lie!)" from the first album and "King of Kalifornia", from the second album. Get Lost, (Don't Lie!) was at the time of its release said to be a latter-day Birthday Party, although apart from the thumping bass on the song "I Ate The Knife", the album was closer to dream pop with Genevieve McGuckin's swirling organ playing and Epic Soundtracks' and Harry Howard's frolicking rhythms sweetening the effect.

These Immortal Souls used the bare minimum of MTV-style music video to promote their work, preferring to concentrate on the process of their work, and largely relying on word-of-mouth endorsement as marketing.

In 1991 Rowland S. Howard teamed up once again with Lydia Lunch to record the Shotgun Wedding album. They toured with a live band that included Harry Howard and Chris Hughes. The band remained quiet until 1992, when the single "King Of Kalifornia" and album I'm Never Gonna Die Again were released.

Craig Williamson joined in as drummer and Spencer P. Jones became the second guitarist. With this line-up they recorded "You Can't Unring a Bell" for a Tom Waits tribute album called Step Right Up in 1994, somewhat incongruously alongside very earnest acts such as Pete Shelley, Tim Buckley, Violent Femmes and 10,000 Maniacs. Later Jones left the group.

After Rowland, Harry and Genevieve returned to Australia in 1995, where they occasionally performed. The band's final show was at the Greyhound Hotel, St. Kilda, Melbourne on 23 July 1998, with Lydia Lunch as support.

Kevin Godfrey a.k.a. Epic Soundtracks, the outstanding drummer for These Immortal Souls was found dead in his London apartment on 5 November 1997, shortly after a relationship break-up, a successful tour and the release of the third of his accomplished solo albums. The cause of death was not determined despite an autopsy. Rowland S. Howard died of liver cancer 30 December 2009.

Discography[edit]

  • Get Lost (Don't Lie) 1987 (SST Records)
  • I'm Never Gonna Die Again 1992 (Mute)

Extended plays[edit]

  • Marry Me (Lie! Lie!) 1987 (Mute)
  • King Of Kalifornia 1992 (Mute)

External links[edit]

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