Hit me with your psychedelic drone stick
This is the follow up to the well received "Len Parrrot's memorial lift" from a couple of years back. It's a record that succeeds in achieving its own unique sound : no small feat in today's climate of generic copy cats. Sounding like it was recorded in a cavernous air hanger in places, and taking in a number of influences, it treads a darkly introspective path without ever getting claustrophobic. Two of the musicians involved, Mike Mooney and Damon Reece, are former members of Spiritualized and their experience in the psyched out hypnotic drone department pays dividends. The LP has a narcotic feel to it and would be perfectly suited as a soundtrack to a back street opium den, which is not to say it's an overindulgent mong out, far from it, as it keeps focused throughout : partly down to some astute lyrical pearls.
"Francesca's Party" is a pop gem with echoes of The Kinks and The Velvet Underground, with Dury's world weary drawl acting as the perfect foil to the intricate sideways slanted guitar and effects.
"Cocaine Man" is a bit of an anomaly in that Dury reverts to a spoken Cockney chat, again the music is a hazy delight. "Lisa Says" is drenched in reverb and regret, it has a hymn like quality to it and the influence of My Bloody Valentine lurking in the background.
"Waiting For Surprises" takes things down a level into a swampy fog. "Young Gods" is low level feedback soaked with a plaintive piano line that has Dury musing "This is a song for those that were wrong". "Sister Sister" is weirdly reminiscent of Bowie's Heroes. "Floorshow" concerns itself with regret and the feeling of emptiness after a failed affair and "Cages" has a jagged Lennonesque guitar. "Dirty Water" is exquisite and the LP's highpoint : mixing various influences into a coherent whole, it achieves a level of craftsmanship rare in music these days and is a fitting end to an impressive display of songwriting.