Incendiary’s favourite slackers have finally made a record. And it’s a typical record for them; an unassuming charming, lo-fi hoe down, drawing on a vanished era: (all the tracks’ lyrics come from the tracts of poets like Robert Frost – including his evergreen Two Roads - and William Carlos Williams).
The record follows all other (semi/unofficial) Spilt Milk recordings I’ve heard to date: the band thrives on showing off its unreconstructed, live and raw reputation; there are plenty of muffled voices and dodgy sound levels for the listener to enjoy or be baffled by. The sound is local, immediate and stripped down of all musical non-essentials. It’s actually very refreshing to hear an “alt-country, or “country-fied” record without all the serious “look at me play mandolin” Lady Guinevere-isms that are so prevalent nowadays. No, this is the sound of a band having fun at the most elemental level. They handle the lyrics well; Robert Frost’s The Bear is a great example of how to make a large slab of text sing-able and accessible. And Two Roads is a cheeky stab at making this loved poem less serious and sickly sentimental, good for them I say! There’s also an extended hoe down on Icy élysée /Shan’t be gone long which is a lot of laid back fun.
Enjoyable, uncomplicated stuff and something very different in these serious times.