Not even a sniff of a letdown
New faces The Brian Jacket Letdown are aiming to bring their own peculiar brand of psychedelic-folk-funk-rock to a wider audience with the release of second single 'Eat Your Friends'. In the past, the duo of Tom Phillips and Will Harper has supported Misty's Big Adventure and Scritti Politti to name but a few - and were one of the top five new acts to watch for 2007 as compiled by former Kenickie frontwoman Lauren Laverne (yep, I've still got a crush on her - even if she is married) for The Culture Show. So are they ready for the big time?
'Eat Your Friends' is all acoustic guitars, nippy basslines and eloquent drumming - and while that sounds like your standard folk-rock fare, you can never underestimate the power of the psychedelic. Imagine if Neil Young performed William Shatner's 'The Transformed Man' with Keith Moon on drums, Todd Rundgren on guitar and Frank Zappa on extremely bad acid. Brilliant.
As lyricists, The Brian Jacket Letdown duo is up there with The Bonzo Dog Band and Peter Wyngarde: i.e. charmingly nonsensical (obviously the ill-conceived 'Rape' by the latter remains an exception). "Eat your friends but don't pig out on them" is my favourite - and a great piece of advice to boot. I'd recommend nibbling a finger or two at a time and saving the jewels for a special occasion.
If there is one problem with 'Eat Your Friends' though it's this: it's comprehensively trumped by the B side...
Although the company would have you believe that 'Me And My Dog' sounds like "Led Zeppelin doing a cover of Japanese Kabuki theatre music", the harmonised melodic melodies, insane time changes and bass-heavy production make it sound more like Iron Maiden attempting electro-folk-jazz-funk - albeit without lyrics about Spitfires getting shot down over Northern France or sailors getting a bit hungry and doing stupid things with albatrosses.
In short, both tracks are a hoot and highly recommended. Check them out live too - Phillips & Harper are playing in Liverpool, Manchester and Brighton this week. I'd advise you to take your friends with you too - I'm gonna try - and I've bought a new lunchbox especially to mark the occasion...