Virile Games
Wounded Laurel [CS; Hospital Productions]

This is music for a fallen world.

A military procession marches through abandoned, war-ravaged streets, burnt out hulks of cars marking the path to their destination. Today a leader is recognized for both a glorious victory and continued military achievement. The soldiers are tired. The victory laurels have wilted in the sun, been dropped, dusted off and straightened.

This is music for an old war. Strings sink from melody lines into distorted squeals as the musicians grow tired of repetitious phrases. Muted choirs, originally espousing virtue, truth and the rightness of human endeavor, become muddled and eventually totally undercut by an ever nearing bass hum. Everything drifts downwards. Every tune becomes a requiem.

When Christianity was still young there were Military Saints; soldier converts who objected to the religious practices that were part of everyday Roman military life. One of the first of these was Saint Sebastian, who was eventually martyred for his beliefs. The only words inside the packaging for Virile Games’ album Wounded Laurel are several lines from Claude Debussy’s mystery play entitled The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian: “Oh archers, I must die/My destiny must be fulfilled/That I am killed by the hands of men/Your hands…your brotherly hands/I tell you, I tell you/Whoever wounds me most deeply/Loves me the most.”

This is music for faltering faith.


Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d’art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.

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