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Leaving you spellbound in it's androgynous vocal delivery, Spider King's Animals is a haunting children's march that paralyses me with each listen. -Cedric Bixler-Zavala (The Mars Volta, ANTEMASQUE)An unknown pleasure torn out of Manchester's lost DIY manual, this overqualified/underexposed post-punk pop pillar casts an almost invisible web across the history of Manchester's inner-city music scene, trapping appendages of The Mothmen, Martin Hannett, Gerry and the Holograms, John Cooper Clarke, Blue Orchids, Naffi Sandwich (The Naffis), and The Fates in it's glue. As a central mast of Manchester's 1970s/'80s deserted DIY era, spanning angular jazz funk, punk, and sarcastic synthpop, Spider King also played a huge role in Manchester's honorary adoption of The Velvet Underground's Nico (as her lead guitarist), fronted Martin Hannett's first band, and inhabits a key position in the careers of Sad Cafe, Alberto y Lost Trios Paranoias, and Paul Young, not to mention AC/DC's Mancunian debut. With dozens of self-penned songs, unreleased demos, and two of the best collectable Manc punk-funk 45s to grace collectors' want-lists, it's almost unbelievable (even tragic) that Mike King's late-'70s/early-'80s work never saw a full-length release - until now. Shot to Pieces represents one of the most elusive, jagged pieces of Northwest England's punk-funk puzzle, recorded sporadically between 1979 and 1983 with a cast of characters from the Rabid/Absurd label family (such as behind-the-scenes synth-wielder John Scott from Gerry and the Holograms) and producers like Laurie Latham (The Blockheads). Commonly recognized by stalwarts of the era's mutating genres as the one that got away, Spider King is the archetypal artist's artist as well as the outsider's outsider and the hardest-working man in no-business, who is now attracting a whole new audience of champions from bloggers, vinyl nerds, and well-respected contemporary musicians, with his appearances on mixtapes and compilations. On hearing this essential release, one could argue that these lost spider grams are more relevant in 2016 than they were when those arachnophobic A&R men shooed him away decades ago. For those who ain't afraid to get bit, say hello to the Spider King.

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