It's incredibly reminiscent of mid sixties garage, albeit a cleaned up garage (with all dad's tools put neatly in place).
Home - No. 15 - 5
This album kicks of with River of Gold, a brilliant re-run of the Everlasting Love chord sequence. Somehow also managing to sound like Sonic Youth, or Royal Trux sat round a festival camp fire, it completely wins you over with it's goofiness. Next up, Resist!, a piano-led psyched up hippy affair has a beautiful dumb-ass singalong middle-eight that gets you smiling. It's incredibly reminiscent of mid sixties garage, albeit a cleaned up garage (with all dad's tools put neatly in place). I Don't Wanna No is pure Big Star, and all the more lovely for it, I just love the way the melodies are piano driven, it adds a peculiarly naïve quality to the music. Armageddon is a noise, a noise that leads us into the early Mercury Rev-isms of Zenith Place a ponderous song that somehow should be sung on a Sunday morning at chapel. Just when you think it can't keep plodding on, the piano leads the track into thee most delightful guitar freak out. It's fab, and worth boring yourself for the first three minutes of the song to get uplifted by the last ninety seconds or so.
Happily refreshed, we are lead into Consequences, a track that starts off like a hesitant and sweaty palmed declaration of love before revving up a gear and becoming the most delightful tinny glitter stomp, replete with question-and-answer vocal parts. Ready Set and Hell No are classic Peter Hammill, all thumping, slightly off-beat declamations, yet again, set over the tinniest of guitar sounds. Of course, it's great. Sneak Out! is yet again in thrall with the more melodic elements of Sonic Youth, or even Klaus Dinger, but it's so much fun to listen to (the lyrics entice young teens to "sneak out" of their rooms whilst their parents are slumbering) It's classic teen rock stuff. All That You Want is another classic US pop song; replete with a quickly garbled chorus that has a lovely vocal arpeggio built into it. Train is funny with its happy clappy atmosphere and its slack-jawed portrayal of teen love (it is very adolescent, this here LP, I can tell you). A lovely guitar lick introduces Pony Breaks. The vocals closely follows the langorous tone. It's a real song of summer love, understated and melancholy.
Oh My God, the longest song on the album, sets itself up to be something of an epic, what with the slow burning introduction. After a certain amount of soul searching a brilliant weeping guitar part begins to invade and inform the music. It's cliched, very Rolling Stones at moments (those pianos don't half remind one of Street Fighting Man's tail-out), but it's bloody well done, fab in fact. It's circular groove keeps you, the listener, fixed firmly in place. At moments it almost decides to tiptoe round the "classic rock" fence...
As if in deliberate total contrast, the children's programme intro of I Like To Dance, replete with (glockenspiel? something childish anyway), snaps us all out of our wistfulness. It's daft, but necessary and oddly affecting. The final track, Which Way, starts and surprisingly ends as a quiet ballad, despite the interference of a police siren half way through.
Despite being rather bemused at first I have found it, on repeated listening a cracking album, chocfull of surprises. Recommended.
Words: Richard Foster.