7/10 Clinton Staff review, 11 October 2013
So it turns out that my memory does indeed work. I remember this lad from his previous ‘Rollerblades’ single and talk of him being the saviour of UK pop...or something. The aforementioned ‘Rollerblades’ turns up three tracks in and it’s very typical of the type of music he produces. It’s experimental seemingly home produced pop music, one part King Krule, one part Damon Albarn, one part Hot Chip.
The first two tracks start off strongly but by the time ‘Cablecar’ has come around I’m starting to re-assess my initial impressions. It’s a vague, tuneless dubby affair seemingly written by a child. ‘Flower’ is not much better so I’ll hurtle back to the opening track to tell you what is good about this record. After a barrage of sound a strangely affected vocal comes into play, joined by stitched together beats before the whole thing comes together like a miniature Mercury Rev. It reminds me of those early Fog records, haphazard, lo-fi affairs, disjointed but fun.
Elsewhere the album is a lot more sombre than I imagined, ‘Broke’ moves along nicely with a dubby bass, the vocals are definitely in your James Blake category, miserable and warbling. ‘Chagall’ seems to just consist of found sounds and things running backwards. ‘Parakeet’ exemplifies the ‘difficult’ nature of the album, it's like a freeform King Krule, a vague vocal melody going hither and thither without ever having any kind of purpose. Belatedly there are signs of life with ‘b-shf-i’, pretty much the most straightforward thing on the album with driving beats and a catchy vocal hook. A difficult, frustrating album on first listen, certain elements are really strong but it's hard to hook into anything tangible. It may take a few listens.
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