AND (Agent of Natural Destruction)

by Herb Garden

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about

'AND' Artpack. To help you decipher some (just some) of what Herb Garden were about, there are 15 (count ‘em) downloadable illustrations and arty-facts available here FREE with the album. Look for the bonus items. Enjoy!

‘CIRCLEROTATE - 1979 & 1989: the pivotal years behind ‘AND’.

To mark Herb Garden’s 1989-92 glory daze we present ‘AND (Agent of Natural Destruction)’, a new album of the songs that brought us our allocated ‘15 minutes’. Nine lusciously re-mastered EARLIER VERSIONS of the Garden’s golden grates - never commercially available until now.

The nine songs on ‘AND’ have been digitally remastered from original studio recordings made and owned by Herb Garden, and are made available here exclusively. All songs originally recorded at The White House Studio, Kewstoke, North Somerset, UK between November 1989 and May 1991. Remasters by Martin Nicholls, November 2013. Produced by Herb Garden.

These new recordings represent ‘Part Two’ of a digital remastering project Herb Garden started in November 2013 when the band decided to revisit their studio archives. Carl, Ben, Rat and Phil returned to The White House - a recording studio near the sands of Weston-Super-Mare, home of Monty Python’s John Cleese. This was where Herb Garden made the bulk of their recordings, between 1989 and 1994. ‘Part One’ of the project can be found in the mini-musical Pandora’s Box that is ‘Herb Garden Quartet’ (HGQ) – an album that finishes where this one picks up: 1989. HGQ’s ‘We Don’t Need These Things At All’ is one of two songs that pushed the band to try a new approach to their evolving sound. The second song (mentioned below) is one that appears twice on this album in unique, early versions recorded 18 months apart. In total the song would see Carl put the scat into scatological in three professional recordings of the title, and probably 100 highly animated live performances. Herb Garden can thank this inexplicably expletive-rich lyric, in part, for their modicum of success.

Among other things, we’ve 1979 to thank as well, for that was the year everything changed - even punk. Jilted John was having follow ups to that ‘Gordon’ song. Ozzy got chucked out of Sabbath, Led Zep did their last uber-concert and The Knack hit No.1. Kate Bush went live, but in the year Sid died, Herb Garden started going to Big School. Think back to the influences of 1979, a year that will have influenced this album, in many ways.

To celebrate the importance of Big School in our formative years we commemorate 1979 and 1989 simultaneously because, by the time the 90s beckoned, Herb Garden had written one of their ‘biggest’ songs. The tune in question - hard-rocking live fave Sh!t On Me - was to eventually join a handful of ditties forming the running order of ‘Destructive Natural Agent’ (D.N.A.), a mini-album, released in 1992 by Warner Bros’ on their East West label – part of the Atlantic empire, and home of Simply Red, Tori Amos and Mr Chris Rea! [OK, fair enough, and AC-DC].

It’s important for us to clarify that these songs are digitally re-mastered original versions of recordings that Herb Garden own the mechanical rights of, rather than the later, re-recorded versions that came out as ‘Destructive Natural Agent’ (DNA) on East West Records in 1992. The East West (re)recordings occurred at HG’s fourth (of seven) White House recording sessions, 2-6 December 1991. The seventh session was in 2013 and you’re hearing that now.

Some say the Warners album was polished, slick and shiny. Others say it was too fast. Yet more, different, real people say the recordings remastered here are the better versions of the songs. What can we say? How can we judge? We only wrote, played and recorded all of them.

SO, 'CHEERS' 1989! You gave us some fun for sure. And you gave us our second Herb Garden 'sound’. But more importantly, thanks Musical Melting Pot of 1979 - without you none of it would not have happened!

TRACKS 1, 2 & 5 originally recorded 23-24 November 1989.
In 1989 HG released the three songs as a cassette demo ‘National Lavatory’, with original notes and credits as follows: ‘Buttons, knobs and wires – Martin Nichols. Shouting at each other and making the tea – Herb Garden. Acknowledgements: Eddie Martin, Neil Keech, Simon Liar, Martin Liar, John ‘Up Your Trousers’ Rolfe, anybody and everybody instrumental in the weft of our perceptive and creative tendencies, the growth of our mettle and the expansion of our telephone directories. You know who you are. Dave would personally like to thank the Aberdeen terrier for being such fascinating breed. Ratty would not.’

TRACKS 4, 6 & 8 originally recorded 21-22 June 1990.
These three songs first appeared as a cassette-only mini album called ‘Furry Green Cassette’, sometimes compiled with the original recordings of Tracks 1, 2 and 5. Like Rat’s white Hohner (Steinberg copy) ‘cricket bat’ guitar, the fake green fur literally covered the cassette case (see Art Pack download with this album) – another DIY marketing production with everything done by hand using double-sided sticky tape. An earlier DIY production had been Herb Garden’s eponymous 1989 vinyl debut record. All card sleeves had been printed fine but had not been cut, scored or glued. Try doing that 500 times! But still we insisted ‘Pay No More Than £3’!

TRACKS 3, 7 & 9 originally recorded 1-2 May 1991.
These songs formed Session Three of the White House Studio recordings and would join with others here to form a sampler - a ‘super-demo’ - presented by Hardslug to East West records. They liked it enough for Herb Garden to record 'Destructive Natural Agent' half a year later, between 2 and 6 December 1991.

Acknowledgements.
It’s right and proper that thanks are made for the support and help we got around that time – and today. There are tonnes of others we’ll one day list as Herbal Heroes. Meanwhile ‘AND’ and ‘DNA’ thanks (in equal portions of gratitude) go to:

1991: James, for his little anecdotes, Sharon Tates Children, Nolde, Zygote, Bad Influence, Karl @ Words of Warning, Dean (DS4A), Dave (Read It? Eat Shit!), Rectify, Terminus, Beddis, Jason & Aston in Boston, Niall McGuirk, Village Idiots, Emmett, Warzone, Niall (P.O.P.), Si, Nick, Nick, Filthy Felching John, Darren, Martin, Martin Nicholls (Whitehouse), Fat Paul, Johnny Savage, James, Chris, Luke & Tim, Lesley, Clair, Becky, Steve HieronymousS, Kayce, James' Mum, Sally, Eddie the Fish, Johnny Morris (for his magic), Morty, Constantina, M.C. Trucker Truck, Steve McMarsh & our p&ms. In those days you could contact Herb Garden c/o Hardslug … lpswich, Suffolk, England – [but not today].

2014. Rat: Penny, Iggy, Molly and Arnie the goldfish, Sal and Sean. Ben: Suzanne, Justin Holger Smith (RIP), Sam 'Stuff' Giles, Richard J Wilson (RIP), Matt ‘Bink Bonk’, Jochen ‘Erich’ Abel, Viva Maria!, Andy Burrows, Robert F. Cornick (Mr Tangent) and his brother Jon ‘Lord Cumberland Basin’. Carl: Lucille, Angelo. Phil: Jo. Dave: Claire and the girls.

© Herb Garden 2014

credits

released October 4, 2014

All songs digitally remastered from original recordings produced by Herb Garden. Digital remasters by Martin Nicholls.

Words and music by Herb Garden:
• Carl Graves - lead vocals
• Phil Marsden - lead guitar
• Rat Crook - guitar and backing vocals
• Dave Crook - bass guitar and backing vocals
• Ben Wallis - drums and percussion

Album art:
Original line art illustration - Nick Hamer
Design - Ben Wallis, Hardslug, Herb Garden
Logo - Herb Garden's woodland logo derives from an original drawing by Steven Howe.

© Herb Garden 2014

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Herb Garden Bristol, UK

Welcome to the Herb Garden campsite. We will be sharing lots of frenzied frolics and scrumpy-ous sonics with you here in 2014. Check out our sites too - we'll talk on Wordpress, lark about on Facebook, shimmer on Flickr, and glimmer on Youtube, natch.

We've remastered 1989's 'Eponymous' EP, often known as Bulldozer Jones, and all the tracks that led to Warner's DNA mini-LP. We've loads to reveal!
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Track Name: Shit On Me ('89)
SHIT ON ME
(Words and music by Herb Garden)

Drowning in your lechery you keep a nice face FRONT
Smiling all the time, whilst placing daggers in my back
It's time to reckon up, and see you as you are
The little bigot bastard you really have become.

In this world, this modern age, they tell me always, this:
That it's cool to duck and dive and look out for yourself
Emotions count for NOTHING, you roast them on the fire
Burn, Burn, Burn, Burn, Burn, Burn.

It's OK – shit on me,
It's OK – shit on me,
It's OK – you can shit on me,
It's OK …
- Shit on me.

Told me things were out of order, then you did them all yourself
Love is just absurdity - you've got to get your oats
This fashion/poseur coolness, It's just a load of crap
As far as I'm CONVINCED - this world is burning sick

People always open mouths and splutter out their 'truths'.
Miles and miles of platitudes it's really just a ruse.
Now then: listen do - do your worst to me,
And I'll Burn, Burn, Burn, Burn, Burn, Burn.

It's OK – shit on me,
It's OK – shit on me,
It's OK – you can shit on me,
It's OK …
- Shit on me.

[guitar: Phil]

It's OK – shit on me,
It's OK – shit on me,
It's OK – you can shit on me,
It's OK …
- Shit on me.

[coda]

© Herb Garden 1989
Track Name: Goodies ('89)
GOODIES
(Words and music by Herb Garden)

Well …

It little matters where your morals lie - just keep consuming the Grand Illusion
It doesn't matter where my judgements fly - I am a factor, it is human nature
Look now those sharks are selling goodies
Take your pick: it's disaster

Look at all, Look at all, Look at all those GOODIES
Look at all, Look at all, Look at all those GOODIES

And are we destined to this fatalist equation - of devastation, rearrangement?
Time ticks, it's against our own nature - to call a stop, son, to this corruption
Look now those sharks are selling goodies
Toxic choice is being us human beings

Look at all, Look at all, Look at all those GOODIES
Look at all, Look at all, Look at all those GOODIES

But you can't have your goodies without having nasties
No, you can't have your goodies without having nasties
[repeat]

Look at all, Look at all, Look at all those GOODIES
Look at all, Look at all, Look at all those GOODIES

(But you can't have your goodies without having nasties
No, you can't have your goodies without having nasties)

Look at all, Look at all, Look at all those GOODIES
Look at all, Look at all, Look at all those GOODIES

Still all these goodies we must freely expect, to arrive - all contrived
And so my planet it circlerotates - I see the problem - it's still a-hatching
Look now those sharks are selling goodies
Toxic choice is being us human beings

Look at all, Look at all, Look at all those GOODIES
Look at all, Look at all, Look at all those GOODIES

But you can't have ya goodies wivout havin' NARSTIES!


© Herb Garden 1989
Track Name: Buried ('91)
BURIED
(Words and music by Herb Garden)

Now. And here we go - again and again.
It's in my lungs, it's in my head, it's everywhere.
Again and again. Again and again.
It's in my lungs, it's in my head, it's everywhere.

What does this mean to me? Your petty vanity?
I am out of my depth. Do you feel what I see?

'Cos we’re BURIED
Buried right up to our necks
Can't move our arms for the shit
Buried right up to our necks
Can't move our arms for the shit

I can't escape your clutches. Your walls surround me
And when I stand up, don't you think I can speak?

'Cos I’m BURIED
Buried right up to my neck
Can't move my arms for the shit
Buried right up to my neck
Can't move my arms for the shit …

If you believe in me, well, I'm sorry but I don't know what to do,
But I know - I've done nothing for you.

'Cos I’m BURIED
Buried right up to my neck
Can't move my arms for the shit
Buried right up to my neck
Can't move my arms for the shit …

[twin guitars]

Oh no. Again and again
It's in my lungs it's in my head
It's everywhere - where I care to look
Where’s it coming from? Where’s it coming from?
Where’s it coming from? Where’s it coming from?
It's everywhere ... coming everywhere!!

And who am I to say ‘don't do things my way’?
Maybe that's alright. Could be I mess up your life.

'Cos we're BURIED
Buried right up to our necks
Can't move our arms for the shit
Buried right up to our necks
Can't move our arms for the shit.

© Herb Garden 1991
Track Name: Switching On ('90)
SWITCHING ON
(Words and music by Herb Garden)

Yeh, flypost it - around the world
Flypost it - around the world

Who's the fool who claims an alibi?
No, no, no - just watching the money patrol
TV image - put your head in the sand
No, no, no - is this the way to evolve?

All the signs say 'Buy it!' 'Sell it!'
Enterprise they say's the by-word, BUT
Hesitate my world's in fever
And neon banners display this order.

(Switching on to new religion)
Switch on. Switch on. DIRTY MONEY

Broadcast it - around the world
Broadcast it - around the world

The intravenous image broadcast
No, no, no - they're pushing for mind-control
And these visions talk with forked tongues
No, no, no - is this the way to evolve?

This media-age of forced aggression
Fuels big tastes, creates compulsions, BUT
Hesitate my world's in fever
Organic matters have no factor.

(Switching on to new religion)
Switch on. Switch on. DIRTY MONEY

TV … insanity … We're talking …
TV … insanity … We're talking …

Necessity makes us players all.
No, no, no - just watching the money patrol
The new Messiah they say’s in our pocket.
No, no, no. Is this the way to evolve?

You can't defy, our sucked-in order
This TV forced a new religion, BUT
Hesitate my world's in fever
And the power has no flower.

(Switching on to new religion)
Switch on. Switch on. DIRTY MONEY.

Switch on.
[Switch it.]

© Herb Garden 1990
Track Name: Shed Off The Pounds
SHED OFF THE POUNDS
(Words and music by Herb Garden)

Dieticians tell them news
People go on five-mile runs
Occupation all devout
Cut out the butties fried and nice

Got to shed off the pounds - it's aesthetic propaganda
Got to shed off the pounds - to make your life better
Got to shed off the pounds - it's that Western occupation
Got to shed off the pounds - it's aesthetic propaganda

Higher-seller work-out tapes
Vanity has gonne to seed
More subscribers part with cash
Sod the Third World, let's look flash

Got to shed off the pounds - it's aesthetic propaganda
Got to shed off the pounds - to make your life better
Got to shed off the pounds - it's that Western occupation
Got to shed off the pounds - it's aesthetic propaganda

Work it out!!
[pant, pant, gasp!]
Oyez, work it out for yourselves!
Oyez
Work it ouuuuuuuutt!!

Surgeons face-lift the grotesque
Cosmetic values grow and grow
Got to look your Sunday best
(Not yourself-
Be someone else!)

Got to shed off the pounds...

WORK IT OUT!

© Herb Garden 1989
Track Name: Wet Dream ('90)
WET DREAM
(Words and music by Herb Garden)

Well, when I was young I thought I was free
And all the nice people lived their perfect lives
This world of opportunities was open to see
And this life, this universe, revolved around me
I've got to wake up. I've got to shake up.

Living your life in a big wet dream
Where things don't appear first as they seem.

So all those thoughts that I trusted were all well and good
And that people weren't just in it to get what they could
I greenly believed what most people said
Then I left myself open - I was perfect prey
I've got to wake up. I've got to shake up.

Living your life in a big wet dream
Where things don't appear first as they seem.

Wake up, wake up.

Oh now all these thoughts they’re sending me to OBLIVION
Which way should I turn, to the right, to the left?
Forwards or backwards? But now
I know the change is coming is coming, is coming... NOW

So, they sent me to oblivion and the predictable play
Of the cynics sitting satisfied brushing all aside
Well, this bubble's got to burst, my friend. One day it WILL
'Cos this life, this universe don't revolve around you
You've got to wake up. You've got to shake up.

Living your life in a big wet dream
Where things don't appear first as they seem.
Living your life in a big wet dream
Yeah things don't appear first as they seem.

Wake up.

© Herb Garden 1990
Track Name: D.N.A. ('91)
D.N.A.
(Words and music by Herb Garden)

Yeh. There's a message, better hear it now
If you don't it'll be too late
Toxic gases running from your tail-pipe
It's disaster to the bitter end.

Too much abstract creation
Painful roads of erosion for the soul that's within
On this one rock in a million
Sail on the human condition
All that is lies-and-seduction
Laying all our hopes to waste
On this one rock in a million

Call us DNA: Destructive Natural Agents
We've got the chromosome
That makes us MAN - that's M.A.N.

Been on the planet relatively seconds
But you know it doesn't take much time
Have it now and don't think thrice –
The consequence is neither here nor there.

Join in the escapist convention
Passport from fundamental realities
From DNA to the Bomb
Sail on the human condition
All that is lies-and-seduction
Laying all our hopes to waste
On this one rock in a million

Call us DNA: Destructive Natural Agents
We've got the chromosome
That makes us MAN - that's M.A.N.

Walking thru the backstreets of life,
Always doing the breast-stroke
Marking time.

Well, planting cows and cutting trees
Mother Nature chokes on shit
Bad heart and a dodgy brain
Becomes the expected fix.

Too much abstract creation,
Painful roads of erosion for the soul that's within
On this one rock in a million
Sail on the human condition
All that is lies-and-seduction
Laying all our hopes to waste
On this one rock in a million.

Call us DNA: Destructive Natural Agents
We've got the chromosome
That makes us MAN - that's M.A.N.

© Herb Garden 1991
Track Name: Nonsense ('90)
NONSENSE
(Words and music by Herb Garden)

Now - come join the fun
In the game of family consumption
And populate, yeah calculate
How much one species can really take

Nonsense - this world is overpopulated
Nonsense - to destruction dedicated
Set the wheels to Oblivion
'Cos where will we be in a hundred years on?
Nonsense - this world is overpopulated
Nonsense - to destruction dedicated

Marketing déjà vu. Nonsense rules shooting at you
Marketing déjà vu. Nonsense rules shooting at you

So - reproduce and take your view
That this world is out to TAKE
So - shape your face, I know your place
It will seal the fate of the human race

Nonsense - this world is overpopulated
Nonsense - this place is near exacerbated
All you can sing about is your phoney love
But where will we be in a hundred years on?
Nonsense - this world is overpopulated
Nonsense - to destruction dedicated

Marketing déjà vu. Nonsense rules shooting at you
Marketing déjà vu. Nonsense rules shooting at you

Huh! (Whoaarrghh!i!)

Now - take this weight that man has made
In this world that he conceives is really fake
Take this weight and call a break
To these decadent feasts that seal our fate

Nonsense - this world is overpopulated
Nonsense - to destruction dedicated
A monosodium glutamate fix from an almighty corporate fist
Nonsense - this world is overpopulated
Nonsense - to destruction dedicated

Marketing déjà vu. Nonsense rules shooting at you
Marketing déjà vu. Nonsense rules shooting at you

[Bom, Bom, Bom-bom, Buddle-um-Baaam]

© Herb Garden 1990
Track Name: Shit On Me ('91)
SHIT ON ME
(Words and music by Herb Garden)

Drowning in your lechery you keep a nice face FRONT,
Smiling all the time, whilst placing daggers in my back.
It's time to reckon up, and see you as you are,
The little bigot bastard you really have become.

In this world, this modern age, they tell me always, this:
That it's cool to duck and dive and look out for yourself.
Emotions count for NOTHING, you roast them on the fire,
Burn, Burn, Burn, Burn, Burn, Burn.

It's O.K. – shit on me,
It's O.K. – you can shit on me,
It's O.K. – shit on me,
It's O.K. …
- Shit on me.

Told me things were out of order, then you did them all yourself,
Love is just absurdity - you've got to get your oats.
This fashion/poseur coolness, it's just a load of crap,
As far as I'm CONVINCED - this world is burning sick.

People always open mouths and splutter out their "truths".
Miles and miles of platitudes it's really just a ruse.
Now then: listen do - do your worst to me,
And I'll Burn, Burn, Burn, Burn, Burn, Burn.

It's O.K. – shit on me,
It's O.K. – shit on me,
It's O.K. – shit on me,
It's O.K. …
- Shit on me.

Schizer!!

[guitar: Phil]

It's O.K. – shit on me,
It's O.K. – you can shit on me,
It's O.K. – shit on me,
It's O.K. …
- Shit on me.

© Herb Garden 1989