The Big Mango is a glorious mess, a true sonic jumble mixing all sorts of sounds that titillate the senses; at one turn it could be a Moondog record, at another it tries to convince you it’s a Soft Machine outtake.
So: if you like modulated synth patterns that hark back to a sort of (imagined) utopian era of cosmic rock, especially ‘73-77, you’ll eat this up.
The sense of defiant melancholy is all over tracks like All This Time, or the incredibly catchy opener, The Wrong Way. It’s very Marc Almond.
So, the squid was beaming some essential info to me after all. We both transmitted and received; yowsa, yowsa, yowsa. Consider this writer a fan of Divorce.
...the onus is on you the listener to put the spadework in to better reveal its charms. It’s akin to being at a party with the lights down low, stumbling around and trying to find groovy people to latch onto.
Them Germans eh?, with their Grünewald and Dix; all this confessional expressionism… it can make you quite dizzy.
If the sound offered by Graveyard Tapes really is ‘their wound’, then it’s an oozy, self-inflicted gash reeking of antiseptic and self-loathing. Let’s hope it doesn’t heal
...John Shuttleworth practising his Casio chops in Johnny Minton’s flat, the North Sea ferry act Anthony H Wilson would have booked on the spot, Soft Cell turning up as the new entertainers in Hi de Hi
This is no clever tribute record mind, or accomplished addition to an already impressive back catalogue; this is a bona fide classic.
The opener Nocturnes – weighing in at over 40 minutes - got me through my shirts and the girlfriend’s dresses. The second track, The Trail of Tears, saw me finish off the other nicks and nacks and gave me time to put the ironing board away.
I think this lot hail from Newcastle, a Roman city with a defined and often celebrated Northern work ethic.
I always enjoyed the play off between Tobin Sprout and Captain Bob; Sprout’s gentle and witty Byrds/Beatles-isms doing battle with the “Roky fronts the Who” schlock that Pollard promotes.
This is the stuff that’s been round the block so many times it doesn’t matter anymore whether you think you’ll get brownie points for digging it or seeing it as a vital part of the zeitgeist (or some other nonsense.)
But regardless of who, why or how; the main thing is that Impossible Truth is one of the records of the year, one of those surprises that no-one saw coming.
No flutes were touched in the making of this concrete catalogue of 1st World Problems.
If you like Harmonia or T Dream’s more melodic early moments, I bet you’ll tune into this.
You can’t help but love tripped out, perverted Kraut nonsense like How I Roll, Tropical Rain or Heartstrong, (the noises in this latter track sound like a randy penguin.)
Imagine Wesley Willis in space, fronting a heavy metal band whose members are baboons on Ritalin. Then you may come close. Fun, eh?