lush seventies style arrangements
Well kids, without further ado let me breeze right in on this review and say to you what a great opening track Nothin' No is; a high quality country stomp that is a weird amalgam of Clang of the Yankee Reaper-era Van Dyke Parks and Zita Swoon, and all topped off with a slight Bolan/Mott the Hoople inflection. It is truly infectious, confident stuff and possibly the best opening song I'll hear this year.
Following that is difficult, and to be honest it's merciful that the rest of the LP doesn't try; rather it adopts a more downbeat stripped back approach. Jacket is a slobbery glam-folk admonition; helped along by a great chord descend in the chorus. Feet of a Liar is a beautiful Stones-style lament with the vocals double-mic'd for good effect. Overall, this LP does possess a fabulous messy aesthetic, similar to Peter Hammill's mid 70s releases in that it's restless and forever willing to tinker with musical styles. Corduroy Blues is a beautiful mid-tempo smoochie, (again very Van Dyck parks in its outlook). Wisdom from A Tree continues the heavy instrumentation as seen in the last track, albeit in a more fidgety manner, (reminding one of ELO at times... actually all my references fo your delectation whilst writing the review of this LP are mid 70s; a rare thing in these angular times).
Can't See Your Face No More is a manic and breezy strum around the acid campfire, whilst Murder in Michigan belies its title with a beautiful countrified lament. Its seventies-isms are obvious but actually very appealing. A great song indeed. Things are rounded off nicely with Moonlight Instrumental, a beautiful keyboard driven instrumental.
A most enjoyable work if you like lush seventies style arrangements.
Words: Richard Foster