Living With Eating Disorders
Selling Self-Hate CD (Demo)

Living with eating disorders can be really troublesome, but that is not what this London-based band is about. Their name they borrowed from a TV programme, their musical style from the shelves of the past 20 years of pop music history.

So Living With Eating Disorders do not deal with eating disorders - but they do care a lot about mental disorders in general, such as self injury. Andrea Kerr, vocalist and spokeswoman for the band, supports the Self Injury Awareness Movement by handing out information leaflets at live concerts, while her lyrics often express the feeling of losing control over oneself. And then there's the blistered blade sporting the front cover of the CD: hardly a subtle metaphor. I found the cover "artwork" aesthetically pleasing, it's very minimal, yet well thought-out.

How about the music? Well, "bitter-sweet, versatile yet accessible" would be an appropriate description. Listening to this Demo-CD feels like a roller-coaster ride, it's full of contradictions and mood changes, ranging from slow and mellow ballads ("Dark Nevada") to driving beat monsters ("Death And Sequins"). "Never Know", "Menace" and "Rock" with their bleak atmosphere, coarse slow-motion beats and sparse melodic arrangements reminded me a bit of Bristol-style Trip Hop.

It's fair to say that Living With Eating Disorders have already developed a style of their own out of numerous musical influences, and this is partly due to Andrea's distinctive voice. Fragile and vulnerable most of the time, yet capable of raucous shouts, as in "Horsemilk". In her best moments I felt she had a bit of Tori Amos in her voice. Andrea is certainly a lot more than just window-dressing for the band.

Hard to pin down a starting point: "Rock" is a favourite, as is "Death And Sequins". On the other hand, "Selling Self Hate" is the band's 2002 demo, and I understand this has been a limited run of 100 copies, so it might very well be sold out by now. Further information on old and new material is available on Living With Eating Disorders' website, and this is also the place to go if you want to listen to any of the band's MP3-coded tunes (which I herewith recommend).

(rh 07/MMIII)

Read an interview with Andrea here.

>> Living With Eating Disorders Website which the band deal with mental disorders