Roman – S/T

Well this is a surprise. It’s not the sort of LP Incendiary would normally pick up, but we are glad we were given the recommendation. Now, this is electronic pop with an urban, glossy sheen that would normally be aimed at a market far removed from the rarefied circles Incendiary tips its titfer at. It boasts big themes, simply expressed, obvious chord changes and hooks loaded with saccharine strings; not to mention deliberately overloaded beats and over-suggestive rhythms. This is music that wants to make a hit, an impact in a straight, unadorned, often gawkily teenage way.

This (endearing) gawkiness is sometimes best seen in the lyrics. Despair When Young -a great bouncy pop song -boasts some of the funniest lyrics I’ve heard in a long while: “I wanna make a gorgeous mistake with my best mate” is one such. Elsewhere, on the track Bones and Barks the line “I wanna go on one of my manly rides but ended up in cat fights” brings countless possibilities to mind. Really, squire?

Talking of lyrics, a very strange voice (an amalgam of Current 93 & Viv Stanshall if you can imagine such a thing) gives a surreal but increasingly serious soliloquy about the killing of rabbits in Goodbye Bunny. The track is a mix of pop, Destiny’s Child-style and an incantation to killing rabbits and witches. Truly bizarre and yes, powerful one you allow the music its Muse. Goodbye Bunny instantly morphs into a dreamy, urban track called Traffic, which also boasts a spoken word soliloquy of sorts. Here the music informs the lyrical content in a much smoother, more subtle way, and is probably the first point on the LP where the breadth of ambition is fully realised.

For this is an ambitious, big hearted LP, make no mistake. It’s not trying to hide or be clever, or, worse, adult: shackles which make a lot of urban/teen pop unlistenable in my estimation. The fun you can get from listening to Blow is not to be underestimated: it’s so simple and unadorned with any angst you just have to agree with the song’s sentiment. R.I.P. Music is a glorious mess of overblown ideas and daft musical juxtapositions, all wrapped up in some sort of post-kebab stompathon. Gloriously simple stuff.

Give it a listen.