Vignettes of awkward liaisons d’heart again litter The Moloch’s third-long-player ‘Flowers’, another fine example of love being more complicated than a four letter word.

Ditching ‘Velvet Glory’s LSD soundsystem fuzz-buzz for bilious acidic-folk spliced with the fatalist deadpan delivery of Swell Maps’s Nikki Sudden there’s also a Lennonesque bite and spite throughout.

The thrum-strumming ‘To kick in a lover’s Door’ espouses the slacker-affair airs and graces of Camper van Beethoven, laconic drawling and hypersonic cat-calling. Fitzsimons posits the risqué query ‘Is it a crime to kick in your lover’s door?’, in these times of #metoo and black-clothed solidarity, Lawyers4U would strongly advise against it.

The sound of C86 adorns the jingle-jangle star guitar-spangle of ‘I wanna say to you’, struggling to get the right words out, tongue-tied and twisted, emotions run the gamut of peaks and troughs. Despite the sighs, lies and cries in the vein of ‘Witchita Linesman’s acceptance-reluctance refrain ‘I need you more than want you’; on this occasion outright rejection prevails.

‘A Little Glimpse of Death’ is another death-disc (c.f. the last album’s ‘Charlie’s Lips’) for the ages, a romance gone sour, a parting of the ways that climaxes with ‘she got lost on the highway, the wind blew her the wrong way’ mortality brushes with reality, there’s only one survivor in this game of love.

Spectral traces abound on ‘Shadow of a girl’ as ‘stiches come undone’ the threadbare ties that bind a crumbling union, an ambiguous memory left behind, the ghost of the past haunting the present.

Echoes of John Lennon’s ‘Oh Yoko’ filter through ‘Flowers in the Spring’, unlike the Beatle’s paean to his paramour this is a resignation to an assignation gone awry (again). Dead flowers tell a tale of their own. If curiosity killed the cat, here it skills the diary-raiding rat on ‘Pages of your journal’, sneaking, peeking, spying and prying on the innermost inscriptions, secrets and unknown sides reveal themselves with our narrator shrugging disdainfully.

Auxiliary Beach Boy and Cali-orch-pop-a-teur (in name only) Van Dyke Parks his string-section on ‘First time I saw you’, a swooping Del Shannonesque address to the spurned antagonist at the core of every song.

The throes of passion blind in ‘Too lost in love’, the giddiness of happiness blanking out the external world, again whether ignorance is bliss is difficult to detect within the lyrical riposte ‘the world is burning/turning, but, I’m just not on’, augmented by happy-sad unbridled June Brides sounds.

Not a cover of the slave saving song ‘Wade in the Water’, but, a call to cleanse the stains of sin, a shedding of dead skin, scrub away the traces of tactility and emerge born again. ‘All the things that happen to me’ is a cursory nursery rhyme exhorting the tales of travails inherent in this album’s make up, fragments of recollections, travelled distances of instances, Fitzsimons exclaims ‘I can’t explain all the things that happen to me …’

Brutal honesty as survival policy rarely sounded so joyous, the ever-languid Fitzsimons’s true motives buried in a mountain of self-preservation bittersweet ode codes. Whoever she is, or was, this album gives her all barrels.


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