Shaneolinski Getting Closer (Retaining the Soul by Numbers)

It is fair to say that Shane O Connor (the recluse who goes under the name of Shaneolinski) plays the ingénue card as often as he can

 

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It’s fair to say this is a pleasingly eccentric record; culled, apparently from many tracks. You get the feeling on listening to this record that there’s a house-full of songs waiting still to be released.


It is fair to say that Shane O Connor (the recluse who goes under the name of Shaneolinski) plays the ingénue card as often as he can, squeaky voices, faux naïve observations,  the whole talking to animals / stumbling round the countryside in a benighted state thing is played out in – it has to be said – a pretty glorious manner.


And yes, you can immediately reference Syd or Robyn, Stump or even Harry Merry at times. Now and again the record has an abstract, quizzical air that recalls Daevid Allen’s way of looking at the world too.  But you know it’s not really good to try to slight this record through strewing too many references through this review, as the LP has some tremendous cuts, such as Lousy Losers and Party Extras, which are fabulous pop songs. There’s also the matter of Livid Heck or Verily Vague Paper, which come across as gloopy sub-Barrett provincial meanders that only Julian Cope can come close to with his “Tamworth” LPs like Fried. And why is there a song about Robin Goodfellow? Hospitalville and Ink and Paper are spooky tracks and some of the most effective on the record as they hint at something less quirky or pastoral.


A bit much at times but enjoyable stuff if you’ve dropped a tab.