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- English Electric Lightning by The Wild Swans
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Eyebrow raising return of the week has to be from The Wild Swans, a cult Liverpool act from the late 70s/80's who've suddenly thrown a fabulous new 10" 'English Electric Lighting' out on Occultation after some 20 years away. The A Side is a slice of tender, classic, rousing Mersey janglerock that gradually aims towards a dreamy crescendo complete with some of the most stately restrained waves of soaring shoegazey guitar. I'm reminded a tiny bit of a homelier Kitchens of Distinction & also fellow Scousers The Cranebuilders.....even some of the less obvious Sarah records releases! It's probably the kind of quietly melodic & modestly anthemic song that'd have had Uncle John Peel in tears, crying into his beloved Mushroom Biryani. I don't feel like I can describe it quite adequately as it's simply a mature take on that old magical Liverpool sound beloved of thousands.
However, the flip is a totally different beast, in essence i'm reminded of Tindersticks' spoken word numbers on hearing, this lengthy, winding & humorous Scouse monologue - reading like a fly-on-the-wall recollection of the famously documented Eric's days and the protagonist's association with all the notorious misshapes & dreamers/druggies/intellectuals who hung around that egotistical yet fruitful scene! Titled 'The Coldest Winter For a Hundred Years' this is assembled around autobiographical observational poetry that Brett thinks is "bollocks" possibly because it's not European and cool & comes over a little sentimental, twee & very English. Well someone's got to be a wistful old fool around these parts! The music consists of soft tumbling toms, a cyclic coda of graceful piano and a scratchy spools of languid guitar over a soft haze of some distant feedback and it washes over you like some precious blanket that smells of moulting cats & warm chips. A most welcome return.....more please! Lovely art from Ged Quinn, numbered and stamped of a mere 900 copies.
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