NEVER MIND THE SHAMBOLICS
Aren’t you a mite bored with music presented in a polished, predictable. perfect state? Do you miss the days of mistakes, when drummers hit microphones instead of drums, when bands went out of time and/or tune and left unfixed by Autotune or micro-editing? Do you long to hear a song that isn’t just a piece of product to fulfil a record company contract quota, and was actually written and played because of a vital need to give expression – with hand on heart or tongue in cheek? You know, ‘being real’ – but really for real?
Well, this could be your lucky day.
Ten years ago, London old-style new-wave three-piece Reticents attempted to make an entire album – their debut recording – in one day. Living up to their name, they were too damned reticent to release it until now – six years after the group broke up. ‘Grasshopper’ (for that is the LP’s title) is a mess, but a merry one. Guitarist Andy Thomson summed up the album succinctly as “Good songs played bad”. Is this a problem? Think of all the records that can be defined as collections of “Bad songs played good”.
It’s a ragbag of old-style new wave (‘I Protest’, ‘Bulletproof’), George Formby music hall (‘Banjo Strummer’), ‘Nuggets’-type garage rock meets Peter Cook in ‘Bedazzled’ (‘This Town Is Nowhere’), cod jazz (‘Party Politics’) and – when they quit quipping – seriousness (the divorce court drama “Happy Birthday To You” and the bittersweet farewell, “Moon Rising Over London”). All this in 29 minutes.
The ‘Grasshopper’ album is here to hear (and even buy, o ye so thrift of spend) on Bandcamp. (No, there isn’t a tactile, tangible version on vinyl or CD. We’re skint!)
Nip over to Reticents’ page on this site for more info, if you wish.
All right, all right, I’m going.
Good luck out there!
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