Venus Fly Trap
Time Lapse 1995-2010
Alex Novak, the driving force behind Venus Fly Trap is certainly no slacker. Following his early successes with Religious Overdose and The Tempest, both of who produced a slew of excellent albums and singles sporting Novak designed artwork (he is also a skilled graphic designer), and a stint with electronic pioneers Attrition, in 1988 he decided to create a band that was designed from the ground up entirely by him (his previous bands having been formed by or with others). Recruiting his brother John and bass player Tony Booker as partners in an ambitious project. Venus Fly Trap hit the ground running with the 12" single Morphine, followed swiftly by an EP and an album, 'Mars'.
The usual line up and label changes followed, with albums Totem, Pandoras Box and Luna Tide following from the various line ups (Alex being the constant factor). Selected highlights of those three are collected together in the first volume of the 'Time Lapse' retrospective, released in 2021.This second volume wraps up the rest from 1996's Dark Amour, through 2004's Zenith , to 2010's Nemesis. It's a fine collection, making it hard, no, impossible, to single out a particular highlight amongst so many. Compilations by their very nature ARE the highlights.
There is a definite evolution though from the driving guitar oriented post punk sound of the earlier material from Dark Amour ('28th March' and 'Pulp Sister') to the increasingly electronic tinged and reflective sound of the later period VFT covered in this collection, in particular tracks off the Zenith album.
Alex's Lou Reed-esque cry skewers through layers of arpeggiated synths run through with jagged edge guitars across tracks like 'Metropolis' and 'Twilight Opera'. The album closes with the almost poppy 'Penny Black' and the sample heavy 'Something Wicked'. It's an adrenaline rush from start to finish, and although feted across continental Europe, it's both a surprise and a crime that Venus Fly Trap have never been fully recognised in the UK, despite all their efforts. They aren't done yet though. They still play regularly as a two piece in their native Northampton and new releases are reportedly in the works. I for one will be here waiting.
Time Lapse 1995-2010 is out 26th May on Glass Records