Like some farmer lad at a Christmas do, neck bursting out of his collar, tie askew, this record struggles to contain all the potential it possesses.
Lordy what’s this? Milk churns? Hebden Bridge? I suppose everything and nothing makes sense in the world of Big Block 454, and this side project of Big Block’s Colin Robinson, Churn Milk Joan, is no different to what we get with the parent group in many ways. As usual we have flavoursome and often very appealing electro pop battling it out with the sort of Lancashire border surrealist waffle that can only be fostered in places like Todmorden or Sough. Eating Ice Cream In A Jowellet Javelin, Corn Raised Montana and Less Is More are steady and funny electro plods; the lyrics there to induce some sense of Druidic remembrance no doubt, or some cautionary warning.
It’s reminiscent of things that Gudrun Gut does on Monika Records (check out the brilliant Baustelle LP), namely slightly sensual, tongue in cheek electronic sermons that somehow evoke something else. The vocals are sleazier on this record, a mix of Kid Strange or John Foxx at their most preposterous. Or some weird Lancs/Yorks take on Parliament’s late 70’s funk drawls. And there’s a slightly mad fecundity seeping through tracks like the Possibilities of Steve McQueen (it’s all them sheep in the Pennines I’m sure). Like some farmer lad at a Christmas do, neck bursting out of his collar, tie askew, this record struggles to contain all the potential it possesses. Sometimes throwing it away in a side gesture, (the Stevie Mac track does boast the great line “my couch potato is thinly sliced”), sometimes over egging the pudding, (the 13 minutes of Black and Ginger is a true trip but one you need to let it wash over you for a few minutes to gain the best effects, so to speak), but always at the point of bursting out in some Odyssean purge; this is an extremely entertaining listen.