8/10 Clinton Staff review, 02 December 2011
Last night scratting through the obscure TV channels I came across an old episode of 'Last of the Summer Wine'. It culminated in the three old men hurtling down a hill, not in a bath this time but on a bike. You couldn't make it up. I mention this for no other reason that the opening melodica parp on this record is very Last of the Summer Wine. No, come back, it also has the musical twists and turns of a Burt Bacharach composition or Paddy McAloon at his most wistful. It's a delicious piece of music that would sit wonderfully along the finer moments of this year's High Llamas LP. Similar to the High Llamas Wells is obviously a fan of the bossa nova rhythms of the likes of Astrud Gilberto if the summery 'Harvest Bag' and 'Courtin' Love' are to be believed. The album was recorded in Japan with the likes of Jim O'Rourke and the people from Tenniscoats joining in and was apparently recorded in one day which is pretty impressive as it has the sound of something very well crafted. There are lots of harmonicas and muted trumpets which is where the Ronnie Hazlehurst comparison comes in. The closer, the title track, would be a wonderful composition melodically if 'Whiter Shade of Pale' hadn't already been written, though also the naive Japanese vocals can be a bit annoying. There also seems to be a high pitched whistle running through some tracks which is either someone squeaking a recorder or my early onset of tinnitus. Still, there's some beautiful stuff within these grooves.
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