Friday, November 14, 2008

Peter Jefferies - The Last Great Challenge in a Dull World (1991)

Peter Jefferies' debut solo outing, 'The Last Great Challenge in a Dull World,' was originally a Xpressway cassette release in 1990; the album was reissued on CD by Ajax in 1991 and fortuitously featured the classic 7" single "The Fate of the Human Carbine." That song, telling the sparse, surreal, and strangely poignant tale of its titular figure, and its B-side, the propulsive, dynamic "Catapult," are among the best work of Jefferies' career. The album employs a characteristically primitive recording aesthetic, lending such tracks as the relentlessly bleak "On an Unknown Beach" an air of austere intimacy. This is an impeccably crafted wonder of restrained beauty that is laced with a distinct sense of tension; it is an album perpetually poised before an intangible abyss. If you love This Kind of Punishment as much as I do, this is essential listening. - Ariel


ampnoise said...

I've listed a dozen different Tall Dwarfs & Chris Knox Flying Nun records, from 85 to 94, on eBay, all MINT-:

Tall Dwarfs ebay dozen

like-new copy of Sun City Girls' Torch of the Mystics LP:

SUN CITY GIRLS Torch Of The Mystics orig LP avant MINT-

also a mint copy of BILL DIREEN & THE BUILDERS "Alien"/"Skulls" 45:


Also have like-new copies of The Builders Split Seconds LP:

BUILDERS Split Seconds LP 1984 Bill Direen NZ garage M-

and The Builders C0NCH3:

BUILDERS C0NCH3 LP 1985 Bill Direen NZ garage Chills M- Flying Nun/XPRESSWAY vinyl from:
Alastair Galbraith
The Weeds
The 3D's
Alpaca Brothers
Bored Games
Goblin Mix
Bailter Space
Shayne Carter+Peter Jefferies
Peter Jefferies+Robbie Muir
King Loser
The Garbage and The Flowers
Sneaky Feelings

and lots more:

ampnoise records eBay store

Anonymous said...

Yea, such a great record!!!
"The fate of the human carbine" and other songs like "Listening in" are the best in record history. Thankssssss

hookfinger said...

Whatta great record. Nice site as well. I was just gonna post this record myself, and had posted the Pop Art Toaster just a few weeks ago. Check out my site for a couple of oddballs you may enjoys.

I would also like to post a link to here on my site of that's cool.

Anonymous said...

Great, great album. Thank you Ariel :-)

nrh said...

This might give away my age, but I feel like a whole generation of us kids bought this for awful cheap after hearing the cover by Cat Power (and Two Dollar Guitar, really) on "What Would the Community Think". I know I wound up a (Graeme more than Peter) Jefferies fan; can't speak for the rest of my generation, unfortunately...

gomonkeygo said...

Wonderful write-up, Ariel! This is the kind of musical musing/reviewing that used to get me running to the record store 20-25 years ago but that I rarely read these days. Thank you very much indeed.

Ariel said...

Thanks! I do spend a bit of time on these write-ups (not to mention the frequent and usually quite frantic edits I make after the fact) so it's nice to know that someone out there reads them.

NRH, I've never heard the Cat Power cover, but I'm probably of your generation (even a bit younger!) so there are some of us out there.

kushiro said...

Looking forward to this one. I considered buying this while in NZ but was, unfortunately, poorly-informed when it came to Mr Jefferies. So I had to put it back...can't buy everything!


Zer0_II said...

Greetings Ariel. I wanted to let you know that I've added your blog to the Australia/New Zealand category of my music blogroll/directory @

I'm trying to put together the most comprehensive list of music blogs which feature out of print or otherwise unavailable music, as well as those which share podcasts, or sample mp3 files. I've categorized them so that you can easily find exactly what you are looking for.

If you would like to help me out, you can do so by linking back to my blog. Although it isn't required in order to be listed, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks for all the hard work and time that goes into maintaining this blog, and especially for the fantastic music you share. Take care.


Ariel said...


sloop said...

thank you! I love this record and have been looking for it for a while. I also wanted to make a request: If you have Cakekitchen's "Time Flowing Backwards" could you please post it. This is an excellent blog.

bud said...

thank you! -
If you have graeme jefferies 'messages from the cakekitchen' I'd love to hear it! -
thanks again

k.kay said...

Thanks so much for posting this! Been wanting to hear it!

Novemberer said...

Still got the Xpressway cassette of this (& a few others). What a fantastic record this is!

Anonymous said...

I was given the a vinyl copy by a friend but have been looking for a copy to give back to him. Great record. So much of the xpressway catalogue is hard to get hold of.
Still looking for a copy of VDB's Mekong delta Blues.