Fergus and Geronimo do seem to have a thing about the Romans; no less than three tracks are named after them. The same with aliens… both are depicted on the cartoon on the inner sleeve. I quite like this sketchy, Clinton-style daftness.
Is that chap eating a chilli? Looks like it. If this is meant to be a visual hint that this record will be similarly as explosive experience then I’m sorry it’s wide of the mark. The drawing of the lad on the cover looks a bit dopey truth be told, he looks a bit of a slacker. That’s more in line with what’s going down on this release. It’s a smart record, but you’re never far away from being confronted with some dopey cartoony take on something or other.
So Funky Was the State of Affairs is a fun, slightly goofy LPd, full of good pop hooks sometimes reaching out of its punk sandpit to inspiring the listener. Lots of tracks have this deadpan delivery, others an angry, reedy vocal line, a bit like the Mekons in places - Drones or Roman Tick are good examples).
Fergus and Geronimo do seem to have a thing about the Romans; no less than three tracks are named after them. The same with aliens… both are depicted on the cartoon on the inner sleeve. I quite like this sketchy, Clinton-style daftness. The band pilfers from every direction, and everything is short as if they don’t trust their own juju to last longer than the allotted two minutes or so. Spies has something of ‘60’s British RnB whereas Roman Numerals is basically Eat Yerself Fitter by The Fall, albeit with a sax break. Not that that is a problem, far from it: there’s enough wit and personality here to let you get on with enjoying the record. There are lots of charming and self-indulgent little sound collages float between these scratchy songs – very much like what Bongwater or Lou Barlow used to litter their LPs with. Sometimes you get little keyboard sequences, like Money Mark used to do too. Good fun.
Best tracks for this reviewer are Marky Move, Earthling Men and Off the Map; classic angry man mantras with a tippety tappety beat, sometimes tipping their titfers towards the Feelies or Talking Heads. It’s a shame that Off The Map is so short; it has real potential to be a long drawn out paranoid rant. They also remind me very much of Amsterdam’s Wooden Constructions. Drones is a sublime, Devo-esque raga, scratchy, underpowered and chugging along – the perfect soundtrack to your ride in that 2 cylinder Trabant.
This is a good record, and I have a feeling this could be a hit.