I do love the way this band mess with tempo; one minute it's so slack and such fun, no beard stroking here.. (at least I sincerely hope not).
Get Him Eat Him - Geography Cones
Right, what must be brought to your attention immediately is the outstanding nature of the cover art; and the best way to do that, of course, is to describe it to you. Picture the scene. Two bull seals made of felt enact a territorial dispute in front of a rainbow-like collage (again made of felt). The back cove shows a walrus wearing a pair of jeans and a stripey tee-shirt. "Enough, enough", I hear you cry "I'm sold and I haven't even played it yet."
On playing this record, further delights unfold. Celebration begins as a psychedelic and very disparate collection of chords and beats very much in the mould of Barrett era Floyd. It is quickly over, replaced by One Word; again a song that is a laconic, psychedelic jumble. It's as if Pavement have just dropped acid and decided to be Dinosaur Jr for the afternoon. It's fantastic; the vocals are endearingly sardonic, placed in the mix, allowing the guitars to enmesh to splendid effect. Pardon My French is a slow funky fuzz work out, that wallows in its own torpor at times. I'm thankful for this actually; if this song had been played at a similar pace throughout it would have lost a lot of charm... Not Not Nervous has a muted beginning that quickly wakes up due mainly to some chunky guitar riffery. It soon settles back to a meandering pattern though, slipping around very effectively for a good three minutes. Mumble Mumble again starts in a quiet way, and meanders along beautifully. There's also the ELO-style vocoder chorus in there (except imbued with far more charm that ELO could ever muster). This song contains the line "Got nothing to say/not my time of day" which is very endearing.
Separate States is a tender love song spread out over 5 sprawling minutes with plenty of key and tempo changes, which occasionally bursts into a Chilton-esque chorus. It's beautiful. Untitled is a lonely beat box that is joined on its sea shore vigil by a bleeping Casio. It's cute and fey, but in a nice way. Shirt Like A Couch, by contrast, opens with a baroque flourish and is by far the most arresting song so far. In fact it's brilliant. I do love the way this band mess with tempo; one minute it's so slack and such fun, no beard stroking here.. (at least I sincerely hope not). Bad Thoughts carries on almost immediately afterwards and is a no holes-bared noise, albeit with a weird vocoder interlude. Suddenly the song goes very quiet and minor key, only to run off again at breakneck speed. The next track, Posture is an upbeat number that seemingly speaks of summer love. It's one that doesn't work in my opinion, though it is a perfectly pleasant track, it just lacks the weird spark that the others possess.
Luckily Metal Splinters makes up for this disappointment with abundance, starting off at breakneck speed before settling back into a familiar pattern of strange noises, slacker melody (with restrained vocals) and hyperactive guitar riffing. A great carnival, merry go round ending too. Marvellous stuff. But not as marvellous as the heady psychedelia of Early Scarlet Globes, a wonderful dreamy opening redolent of Yerself Is Steam era Mercury Rev, which continues to blossom out to be a sacred love song of sorts; one to laze around in the grass to. Of course there is the usual interruption by waspish guitars, but it is kept to a minimum.
All in all, a brilliant release and a very very pleasant surprise.
Words: Richard Foster