De Rosa – Prevention
Another good record from Chemikal Underground, but that shouldn’t come as any surprise. This band has appeared out of the ether for me. I haven’t heard their debut, which got heaps of praise, so I wasn’t expecting much when I put it on, which in many cases can be a good thing.
The LP has a quiet, determined quality about it. It’s bristly and very Scottish, but not in an overbearing way. It’s focussed and has that keen, pure quality of light refracted through a prism. No wind and water wank here. Rather tracks like Nocturne for an Absentee and It Helps to See You Hurt play with a kind of pastoral Gothic vibe that feels very Caledonian. You just couldn’t make records like this if you were from Devon, or Flintshire.
Immediately the lyrics spring out at you, they have that rare quality of being in complete sympathy with the music. They also have a rhythm of their own and I wouldn’t be surprised if the songs had been worked out as unaccompanied folk songs; (there’s a considerable folk vibe to Prevention, despite the grandeur of the tracks). Under the Stairs is a brilliant protest song of sorts and combines a crystal clear message, a fierce stomping rhythm and an impromptu chorus to dramatic effect.
It’s also a sticker of an LP, in that the quality doesn’t fade after the first three of four tracks, which records have a distressing knack of doing these days. Swell is possibly the best track on here, a beautiful folk spiral in the best Sandy Denny tradition.
Knockout LP. Check it out.
Words: Richard Foster