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- The Grand Gestures by The Grand Gestures
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 29 May 2012
This is a new project led by Jan Burnett once of mid 90’s lo-fi popsters Spare Snare. Here, he writes loops using old synths and home found sounds then gets in a variety of different vocalists in and records them singing/speaking along to the music in his bathroom. Opening track ‘Deer in a Cross Hair’ is excellent. There’s not much to the music - it’s just an incredibly lo-fi loop but the vocals by Jill O’Sullivan are very affecting coming on a little like a lady version of Josh T Pearson (her other vocal on ‘There’s Only Place like Home’ is also a stand out).
The second track ‘I Wonder What Chris de Burgh is Doing Right Now’ is an oddball spoken word/comedy number that goes on seemingly forever, musing on what the ‘Lady in Red’ man is up to these days. A funny joke for about a minute but by gawd it outstays its welcome. Thankfully Delgados lady Emma Pollock wanders into Jan’s bathroom to sing on a very noir piece of cinematic music that sounds like a Billy Mackenzie/Scott Walker piece in miniature.
All the vocals on this album are mixed really loud which works at times but at others they become a bit overbearing as on the Calamateur collaboration ‘Baiting’, but ‘Living by the Seaside’ is a lovely piece sitting somewhere in between the Fence Collective output and ‘Smiley Smile’-era Beach Boys. There’s something really interesting about this record, the music is extremely lo-fi and haphazard but with the use of excellent and varied vocals the whole thing comes together to create a completely unique listening experience. Despite the odd misstep it’s 80-odd per cent excellent.
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