Normil Hawaiians - Dark World


  • £19.99

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Dark World collects together choice material from Normil Hawaiians’ formative early years of 1979-1981. Tagging along with the band from their peppy post-punk origins (so brilliantly debuted on ‘The Beat Goes On’) into the looser, dubbier territories that laid the foundations for the group’s landmark album More Wealth Than Money

Dark World gathers the group’s energetic 7” singles on Dining Out and Illuminated Records, their metamorphic ‘Gala Failed’ EP (Red Rhino) and a lively last-minute Peel session from 1980, alongside outtakes, rarities and demos.

During this feverish time, founding member Guy Smith was motivated to make music that revelled in always trying out different things. Normil Hawaiians was a very fluid ensemble at this point, Guy often accompanied by Kev Armstrong and Jim Lusted encouraged saxophones, violins, synths, pianos and a select pack of female backing singers to take their post-punk sound into wilder directions. One of the earliest line-ups of Normil Hawaiians featured a 15-year old Janet Armstrong on vocals alongside Guy, ‘Ventilation’ best showcases her deadpan digressions. 

Another guest to join the ranks of Normil Hawaiians during this fertile time of cross-pollination was Bertie Marshall (aka Berlin of the proto-punk Bromley Contingent). ‘Sang Sang’ is a good example of how he was inspired to deliver his poetic treatises over the band’s atmospheric, floating improvisations. Bertie’s impressionistic influence helped the group uncouple further from rock tropes, as they became restless and more rhythmically-focused. ‘Still Obedient’ fidgets, soars and careens across the dancefloor, “if you’re ahead close your eyes, you won’t notice the subtitles” chants Guy.

By the end of this transformative two years, Normil Hawaiians had spun an exceptional chrysalis around themselves. The dark world surrounding wouldn’t win out, they’d eaten-up the music and grown continuously, wrote and recorded rapidly, covered Zappa, and even David Lynch, and could feel the light beginning to shine through. Dark World is a snapshot of a band in flux, finding their feet, stretching their limbs. Normil Hawaiians cover an awful amount of ground in such a short time-frame on this record and these tracks document all the glittering debris from their magpie’s nest. Emergent, hopeful and resistant in sound and ethic.



  1. Dark World
  2. Coincidence
  3. The Beat Goes On
  4. Ventilation
  5. In Heaven
  6. Uncle Green Genes (Peel session)
  7. Memories (Peel session)
  8. Levels of Water
  9. Obedience
  10. Sang Sang
  11. The Return
  12. Party Party
  13. Still Obedient
  14. Should You Forget
  1. Dark World
  2. The Beat Goes On (demo version)
  3. Coincidence
  4. I Wanna
  5. In Heaven
  6. The Beat Goes On (7” single version)
  7. Ventilation
  8. Outside
  9. Levels of Water (Peel session)
  10. Uncle Green Genes (Peel session)
  11. Memories (Peel session)
  12. The Beat Goes On (Peel session)
  13. Obedience
  14. Levels of Water
  15. Sang Sang
  16. The Return
  17. Party Party
  18. Still Obedient
  19. Should You Forget
  20. Exhibit
  21. I Feel Like
  22. In Buttered Pieces 


  • Limited edition LP pressed on 180g vinyl and housed in gatefold jacket; includes booklet and download coupon with 8 bonus tracks 
  • CD housed in gatefold card jacket with 6mm spine and booklet; limited to 500 copies 




see also: 
Bertie Marshall - Exhibit   LP | CD 


browse collections: 
Upset The Rhythm collection 

New Wave collection 


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