06 January 2017 (released)
23 December 2016
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this album seeing as their most important release – ‘Swagger’ – was released in 1990. I got an excellent album that just pours out with confidence and a touch of humour that very few bands can manage without making themselves look like jokes.
They are an unabashed bunch of literary and intellectual weirdos and musically they cross genres and styles effortlessly, simply making music that it seems comes from somewhere deep in their psyches. I really enjoy the massive production set against a poetry reading that seems to be the heart of this album but they also take you down the punk road and even touch on MC5 territory a few times.
No surprise that one of the original members is Gerard Langley – credited as Poet/singer). Drummer John Langley is still with the band as is Gerrard Starkie who has been with the band since 2006. Bec Jevons joins them on guitar (ex-I Destroy) along with Chris Sharp on bass.
Right from the start – ‘Looking For X’s On A Map’ – they pound out a an anthem that could have been by golden period Magazine. Langley’s vocals are more spoken than sung and it introduces a slightly ethereal feel to the music.
‘Retro Moon’ is surreal and brightly psychedelic with harmonies and jangling guitars as well as those spoken vocals.
‘Elvis Festival’ shows their punk edge as well as an acidic sense of humour – not so much attacking as empathising.
Personal favourite is ‘Dead Tree! Dead Tree!’ which seems to be at a place where Bristol meets 60’s Canterbury.
There isn’t really a poor track here – just differing levels of heights – and it really is an album that gives you something different every time you hear it.
Bristol and the West has a great scene going on at the moment and bands like Blue Aeroplanes and Schnauser are taking the minds of people to wonderful places – oh very the hell yes.