Vinyl LP £15.99 WR029
LP on Wil Ru edn of 300 includes download.
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As we found out last week a lot of musicians are so up their own arses that they couldn’t even spell the word ‘humility’ so its nice to see a bit of humour in the works with this set of otherwise melancholic songs. On the front sleeve the record company has paid for a sticker which instead of the usual “Blah Blah Blah” says Pitchfork instead says “Sounds Complicated” - Robbie’s Dad. Robbie being main Ozark and singer Robbie Augsburger. Robbie’s Dad is right, it is complicated, yet opener ‘I’m Never Bored’ is a very simple opener with a repeated vocal phrase over some gorgeous fugue like organ. Elsewhere the mantra seems to be sound as much like a mixed plate of all those talented yet troubled 70’s singer songwriters/bands who took The Beatles template, went to their piano’s and crafted melancholic, slightly overblown weepers that tended not to bother the charts. I’m thinking Emitt Rhodes, Badfinger and The Dwight Twilley Band. Augsburger has a thin reedy voice a little like Sufjan Stevens which sometimes gets lost amongst the ambitious arrangements but when its stripped back on ‘Her Hands’ he gives Elliot Smith a run for his money. It often delves into the complex-a-pop autumnal hues as previously trodden by Cardinal and Field Music. ‘Baby Spoons’ for example has lovely guitar picking which counterbalances the odd almost discordant melody. And this is pretty much the story of the record, the melodies are seemingly opaque and like Robbie’s Dad you are wondering aloud as to where its all going but then it kind of pulls itself back to reveal something sweet and tuneful. its definitely going to need a few listens to reveal is full colours, not always a straightforward listen and there’s a couple of clunky moments but I’m so pleased that people are bothering to release music like this.
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