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We Are All In The Gutter by They came From The Stars I Saw Them
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9/10 Brian 20 June 2008
Well summer is officially here this weekend so Norman Records, drowned silly in a tidal wave of singles have to search high & low for an album to suit the mood. As a contrast to old Jack Rose, we've plumped for They Came From The Stars I Saw Them's 'We Are All In The Gutter.......' which is a right day-glo funky space blast of a mother. Having to abandon plans for giving the wonderful The Chap the coveted place a couple of weeks ago, I feel this 9 track collection of bright eyed, air punching pop genius somewhat re-dresses the balance. This is really what The Polyphonic Spree SHOULD sound like, a bunch of grinning loons in cabaret drag producing some tender, joyous & airy freeform pop gems that demand you move your feet and punch the sky. They transcend "punk-funk" or any simple pigeonhole by filling their songs with a slightly cuckoo stew of stunning effects & dynamic sound whilst keeping to itchy, compulsive grooves of varying tempo. Every song is stuffed with life & passion & love. The vibe's kinda like if Hot Chip & Big Audio Dynamite joined a mad happy cult and roped in the sax player from Breaking Glass. There's dub, Caribbean & disco influences but they sound like nothing but English eccentrics attempting to shift the cloud of stultifying tedium that currently tarnishes our once proud innovator of a country. For the 80s pop fan I may be forced to namecheck later Orange Juice & A Certain Ratio here or Radio 4 if they were on quality psychedelics rather than NY smog. The Rapture have also been mentioned somewhere (a bit of a red herring, more !!! I think) but some of these gibberingly brilliant songs (take 'Monkey Typewriter' for instance) are a bit too crackers in places to bother "the charts", kinda like a free jazz Sparks in attitude. There's that playful drama to the lyrics that makes you feel like your in a theatrical dreamland! I can also hear contemporary intelligent alt-rock like Foals, Youthmovies & Soeza in these deliciously schizo songs. I've played this about 5 times now & I'm most taken with it. These ladies & gents have a place waiting in your heart. LP (to come) /CD on Thisisnotanexit.

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