Meanderthals – Desire Lines
I really don’t know whether I really like this record, or whether listening to it does my head in. Maybe both. The opener Kunst or Ars is a fabulous example of feel-good music, using steel drums, pedal steel guitar (I think) and a jaunty bass line to create a lovely, wispy thing of inconsequence. It’s daft enough to sound very commercial and weird at the same time. Desire Lines is pleasant enough with its Vinni Reilly guitar run. I get a bit worried when the Wah-pedal appears (maybe I should be a bit more post-modern...), but no, it doesn’t heed my warnings, rather, it strains to be let out into the Elysian and Golden Fields of Naff. God knows why but I can imagine Jeremy Clarkson would say this was sophisticated.
And then, just when you think the Clarkson moment was a minor aberration, along comes something as screamingly camp as Andromeda (Prelude to the Future). Its like a long lost segment of Thriller being played by the Cosmic Jokers, moreover, a Cosmic Jokers desperate enough to make TV incidental music for just one more hit of acid... Maybe I should just, you know, lighten up, man. The ridiculously named 1-800-288-SLAM calms things down with its indecisive floating vibe, allowing Collective Fetish to soothe all psychic ills with a classic 70s style reflection that references moments of Michael Rother, Dr Hook and Alan Hacksaw in equal measure.
And to round everything off, two crackers. Lasaron Highway is a Fassbinber-tastic slice of paranoid polished Cluster pie, what with the Sowiesoso sounds made disco, get that… By contrast, Bugges Room is a beautiful piano & slap bass(!) led piece, creating a breathy, melancholy sound-scape that has enough dissonant things going on in it to merit your attention.
Waagh my head!
Words: Richard Foster