it sounds as if (by a wonderful mischance) The Pretty Things had been asked to write the music for (terrible musical) Hair. It's utterly classic stuff.
YeaSayer – All Hour Cymbals
A tremendous, passionate record, shot through with a form of anger and frustration. At times it sounds bloody camp, but somehow escapes all accusations of kitsch through its sheer bloody-mindedness. The opening track Sunrise is a weird Gospel-style holler, forever standin' on the verge of gettin' it on. By the end of the first track you realise this album has got a real sense of the theatre about it; Wait for the Summer sounds as if (by a wonderful mischance) The Pretty Things had been asked to write the music for (terrible musical) Hair. It's utterly classic stuff. 2080 is also magnificent, another psychedelic whirl never falling into any form of parody, and again sounding slightly angry in its hippy feyness... the High Life style guitar run is just tremendous too.
Germs is a slower track graced by a beautiful vocal line and what sounds like a sampled accordion. There's a distinct feel of the melancholy Buffalo Springfield used to specialize in too. It's just fabulous musical theatre. Why do I keep thinking of Peter Gabriel's soundtrack for the Last Temptation of Christ? Ah, Weir is a vocal interlude leading to the very choral No Need to Worry. Sorry, I hate saying this but those vocal harmonies are definitely treading Beach Boys ground. Forgiveness takes us into the Inner Sanctuary of some Midwest cult (or so it feels during the intro). Again the intensely theatrical backdrops created by the vocals dovetail beautifully with the strange noises and punchy rhythms. Mass in F Minor, eat your heart out! Wait for the Wintertime dispels any feel of sunny psychedelia with a Gothic Hymn of some proportions. Its immense, funnily enough it's precisely the sort of heathen noise that all those leaden-footed Canadian bands have been trying (and failing miserably) to create the last 3 or so years, it's truly astonishing.
Following that, Worms lightens the vibe with an Indian style groove which is menacing and meandering. Waves is more of the same, albeit a bit more subdued. We get a bonus track, Red Cave, which is a tribal chant of epic proportions to effectively bring us back to where we came in...
As I said before, it's astonishing.
Words: Richard Foster