Nearly a quarter of a century after they broke up, impossibly obscure UK DIY/minimal wave outfit Slug Acid Freaks have released their first -¢‚Ǩ-ìofficial-¢‚Ǩ¬ù album through the Threshold Tapes label. Formed in 1981 in Andover, Hampshire, by Ken Pearce and Ed Pupplet, and ably assisted by regular guest Andy Broome, the band recorded 5 albums worth of material before their demise in 1986, none of which was ever made available beyond the bands immediate circle of friends. Somewhere Between the Cradle and the Lonely Grave collects over an hour of music from the bands most prolific period, 1984-85.Without being overly deterministic, its possible to regard Slug Acid Freaks, partly, at least, as a product of their environment. In the 1950s and 60s, Andover, an ancient market town, had been designated one of Londons official overspills. The capitals allure was keenly felt, but Andovers Slug population retained a strong enough sense of hometown identity that the metropolitan influence was always recycled with a measure of -¢‚Ǩ-ìprovincial-¢‚Ǩ¬ù strangeness.If even the most ardent archaeologist of DIY is unlikely ever to have heard of the Slugs, they were nonetheless active during the late heyday of the UKs home taping underground. Employing necessarily minimal means - borrowed Casios, sequencer, basic drum machine (or the rhythm programme of a home organ?) - the band recorded at Kens house on his Dads music centre and a Wien portable tape recorder. While early Human League and Devo are cited as an influence, the Slugs were also contemporaries of many of the 2nd and 3rd wave electronic/industrial bands who took up the baton offered by pioneers like Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire. Despite the relative poverty of its means, Slug music is generally more carefully crafted and song-based than that of its DIY or industrial peers, never lapsing into pointless juvenilia, on the one hand, or metal dunce cliché on the other.Somewhere Between the Cradle and the Lonely Grave has been remastered from the original tapes by Andy Broome and is released in a still barely available edition of 33 copies. Fans of Transparent Illusion, early Portion Control, John Bender, Colin Potter, Legendary Pink Dots, Instant Automatons etc., should act now to avoid disappointment!Slug Acid Freaks - seriously, the best thing to come out of Andover since The Troggs and Twinings tea. - Threshold Tapes.