Matthias Hellberg & the White Moose – Out of the Frying Pan Into the Woods
There are times when the banal can really kick home and have an effect, artistically. And Matthias Hellberg & the White Moose ensure that the banal is never far from our thoughts whilst listening to this LP. Even the sleeve offers no escape, as Mr H brazenly confronts us full length, nude save for a pair of garish lemon yellow boxers, multicoloured socks and a banana. I’d say the lad’s mission is to get laid and have a good time. Luckily, it’s a kicker of a classic rock LP blessed with a light touch and virile wit.
Even when you think the lyrics are pushing it (as in opener Black Cat Fever, with its crude double entendres), the music keeps you hanging on in there. The whole LP has a lot to thank the Seeds or ‘60s trash garage/soul for, (check Why Is It So or Mermaid Stomp) but, unlike similar retro-beatniks, Hellberg has presence and tunes to go with the sound. There are some magnificently cock-rock moments, such as Final Call, and Foggy Day which tiptoe round the ghosts of the Pretty Things and Jimi H respectively, or the brazen, fun Let’s Rock, which does exactly what it says on the tin. There are country-style moments with A Good Day, too; (well, there would be if you’re sat on a moose on your front cover)…
Still, I’m not complaining when a record like this has got so much charm. Give it a listen, as it might just put a smile on your face.
Words: Richard Foster