Mann has an uncanny ability to make you feel guilty about something you’ve never even been involved with
Like being in the White Witch’s troika with a load of booze & fags, or finding out that Julie Andrews was really into the Elevators, this mix of teasing and haughty permanent winter could be fun and who fancies being wholesome anyway?
I half expect Sophia Loren to turn up at my door whilst this is playing, wearing a veil and saying “dahrlinkk, it iss ze vish off ze Emperor zat vee must go to Gaul”.
By this stage, the record truly is the sound of a C21st Workers Playtime and you can see what they got from hanging out with Matthew Herbert, that’s for sure.
A fine record and one that is a charming listen. While not pulling up any trees or making any statement about why it should inform this particular zeitgeist is a one you should listen to You’ll probably end up playing it on repeat.
So there you have it, the new Deerhoof LP. They just keep making great records, and have done ever since Rob Fisk’s time.
The great thing is that you never feel you’re being conned. Unlike all those awful, gauche attempts at amateurism churned out on nice little labels this past decade...this is a proper band, with a beat, with sex appeal and a sort of weird focus.
Sometimes there is just a slab of noise without any noticeable trickery: Petrified Spirits is a tribal rallying call, an exploratory drill for the sort of Psychicke energy lines that lie deep beneath the surface of Albion. Or a bloody atonal racket. It’s equally inspiring and revolting.
Like trying to get some surly teen to tidy their pit, you won’t get much change out of the enterprise if you don’t have a fair old vat of patience and understanding.
Fergus and Geronimo do seem to have a thing about the Romans; no less than three tracks are named after them. The same with aliens… both are depicted on the cartoon on the inner sleeve. I quite like this sketchy, Clinton-style daftness.
I think we can agree then that this is a strange but beguiling record; content to live by its own insular rules, seemingly intent at carving out some peculiar nest in pop’s Yggdrasil.
Other bits of the first EP are very fragile or diffuse, and get lost a wee bit in an out of focus blur of noises and samples. It’s a nice listen, mind, so we’re not being too critical.
...this LP draws heavily from the templates laid down by people like Scott Walker, or Argento, or Divine Comedy, where easy listening, film soundtracks and a light sort of disco froth form a rich, often queasy mix, like Baileys and brandy.
There’s a lot of staring into the bottom of a half empty glass, the opener and title track is some bucolic lament in an empty, echoing ballroom, very reminiscent of Pink Elephants by Mick Harvey.
It’s an energetic record too: full of arching choruses that vault and swoop. Like some desperate street trader looking to hold a crowd’s attention Opossom pitch these chorus lines at you without worrying about the result.
Moon Duo are great at taking hoary old riffs – long patented by the original masterworks - and long sucked dry by lesser artists - and restoring them, giving them a new lease of life.
As a listener you could – if you stick to the “script” too closely - run the danger of too quick a judgement on this LP: because as a piece of music, (like his previous work) and uninhibited by any conceit, it’s great fun.
...a quietly surprising and enervating listen: there are no trademark scathing guitar runs - you get the feeling that the discipline of making a record without an electric guitar has concentrated the mind on the job in hand. And as such the pieces, although intricately worked out, seem to allow other, previously unknown ideas and goals to bubble up to the surface.
What little this album might have dropped in terms of pure adrenalin, it more than makes up for in ideas, tunes, cleverness and, sod it, fun. Which is why it’s great.
Slightly easier on the ear than their earlier efforts, but still full of piss and vinegar - this is a thoroughly great album.