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- Eleven Songs by Ergo Phizmiz
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 11 January 2013
Phil had to wake me, dribbling and drooling from packing the records in order to “persuade” me into reviewing this. “Remember,” he said in a calm voice, “Remember, you liked this didn’t you?” He wheeled me over to the computer side of the room and promised me a choc ice if I could remember the artist in question, where I was or even my name. Luckily it came flooding back.
Cut to February 2010, a floppy haired youthful Clint (played by early Peter Davison) raved about this guys previous record whilst devouring lashings and lashings of jelly and ice cream. The previous album, if I recall correctly, was a more quirky English version of Tom Waits type of affair where “a malfunctioning cuckoo clock battles with parping bicycle horns”. This is much more straight English whimsical guitar pop and is no the worse for it. The lineage goes something like The Kinks, Syd Barrett, Bonzo’s, Peter Blegvad, XTC, Cardiacs side projects.
Let’s take one song as an example of this guy’s brilliance. It’s called ‘The Rock Song of J Alfred Prulove’. It sounds like Martin Newell (Cleaners From Venus) relocated to a maypole and told to sing until the music stops. Fired by strummed acoustic and a child’s drum kit it bounds along for the best part of an unstoppable five minutes with a torrent of lyrics bursting forth. It’s kind of like a one-man busking version of XTC, lots of vaguely psychedelic songwriting, y’know that Syd Barrett school of backwards songwriting but with a lovely mellow English vibe of rolling hills, jangling acoustic guitars, plaintive horns and buttered teacakes.
I love the music contained within this CD, at its best it makes the entirety of life worth living, it’s clever, catchy, thought provoking and reminds me instantly of all the great bands I once loved who now no longer exist.
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