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Luke Mawdsley - Vulgar Displays Of Affection

Maple Death

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'All men are vile / all men are viiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiile' - 'Luke Mawdsley - Piss & Leather'

Gimme spicy Scott Walker, gimme detuned Alan Vega nightmare, gimme electric smut, gimme Luke Mawdsley in a huge oddball baritone sadness on Maple Death. Thudding ballroom bass brings this shit reeling into the no-nostalgia modern age with lashings of cinematic synth and acoustic guitar and Luke's pitched drawl; dispensing tales of fragile trauma and bad sex and deviancy like a dirge death rattle, hands vogueing at half speed.

Lines like 'when you were a child, you thought your cock was the mouth of a hilarious stop motion penguin' are delivered with a shocking kind of bizzaro vulnerability. Then there's beautiful moments like 'Dr. Steve Brule Blues' - mostly acoustic guitar over 7 mins with random bursts of noise, and breathing-space. Everywhere this is eerie sordid music, like the trash and jewls of  'Diamonds, Fur Coats, Champage' era Suicide slowed to a crawl. But everywhere this feels like vital music, tis a huge statement from Mr. L Lawdsley and Maple Death.
"A body of water, a tributary river pushing and struggling to activate one final act, gushing into an ocean of pureness. Every bank you hit is a misstep, vulnerability, acceptance, sexuality, control and punishment, a catastrophic station of the cross experience where the mesmerizing is allowed to seep in. This is Luke Mawdsley’s debut for Maple Death ‘Vulgar Displays Of Affection’, a cathartic meticulous journey brimmed with emotion and failure.

The journey started in Liverpool, Luke Mawdsley’s hometown, with a quasi scientific method: texts and notes becoming mini mise-en-scènes recorded as spoken word performances, with each syllabic nuance creating a guide for instrumentation and a rhythmic delineation. Pitch manipulation was decisive in developing the identity of the record, creating a new voice, a persona that could fluctuate in a brave new landscape supported primarily by acoustic guitar and synthesizers, electronically mapping the topography of trauma. ‘Vulgar Displays Of Affection’ at times flows with the pace of a dark beast, an industrial ritual that brings together Coil’s minimalism and the indecisiveness of early Dubstep; at the core though a chrysalis exists, a cinematic world where Lynchian mystique meets grace and apocalypse, Jarboe’s spirituality and late Scott Walker’s majestic odes. Mawdsley visualizes respiratory like tracts linking the sympathizing thematic layers and depicts the throbbing space experienced between them.

Sometimes the river does take it all. No point in looking back. 

‘Vulgar Displays Of Affection’ was performed and recorded by Luke Mawdsley. Fretless bass by Waffle Burger, sax by Andrew PM Hunt. Mixed by Paul Rafferty, mastered by Stephen Kerrison. Released digitally and on limited pink hand-stamped cassette. Artwork by Paul Rafferty. J-card inlay printed on 200g pure Italian paper and comes with lyric insert designed by Waffle Burger."


1. Little Blanket
2. Misery Gland
3. Creep Factory
4. Dr. Steve Brule Blues
5. Piss & Leather
6. Vauxhall (Cavalier) & I
7. A Grudge Supreme
8. Isle Of Cream
9. The River Takes It All

Little Blanket

Creep Factory

Piss & Leather

Isle Of Cream