Lukas Cresswell-Rost was formerly part of Leeds post rock twiddlers The Pattern Theory but having relocated to Berlin is pursuing a much different oeuvre with this album of polished 80's sophisti-pop. Opener 'Foreign Movies' has some serious Prefab Sprout moves, 'Ten Dollar Cocktails' goes even further and I hasten to mention Phil Collins. A bad thing? No, not really. not loads of people are doing this kind of thing and there are plenty of things on here Field Music may consider messing with and we all like a bit of '80's don't we?
LP £12.99 PS002
LP on Plain Sailing Records. Hand-numbered edition of 500 copies.
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My life would be more than complete if a few more bands got in the practice room and announced to each other "let's Prefab Sprout". Why not? If only to make life more enjoyable.
On this, his debut album, ex Pattern Theory man Lukas Creswell-Rost firmly presses the button marked 'Thomas Dolby production' on the lovely, lengthy opener 'Foreign Movies'. It's a romantic piece of music with some shimmering guitars, washes of synth and oddball song structure. So far, so McAloon. 'Ten Dollar Cocktails' stays in the same era but adjusted itself to the sort of melancholic atmospheric 80's fair as served by the likes of Double and Phil Collins (right down to the ridiculous gated snare).
And yet... and yet you can't just pin it down to an unfashionable retro 80's slice of yacht fun, the title track is closer to Red House Painters than it is to Christopher Cross. A sparse acoustic affair with aching melancholy. This is a decent first effort from Creswell-Rost, a well crafted album full of sophisticated pop music. At times, as on 'Small Things' you can hear that he's being listening to Genesis through their '70's/early '80's heyday but it might be stretching it to suggest that its '80's obsession is responsible for him whispering the words "Ever Decreasing Circles" on the opening line of 'Summer of George', an overblown track that appears to be the soundtrack to some 1980 Peter Gabriel wet dream.The album veers between these preposta-rock pieces and gentle acoustic evocations like the closing finger-picked 'Stolen Thunder'.
No-one else is really playing music like this these days, perhaps Field Music to a degree and a lot of its in deeply unfashionable territory but its a great first effort and I'm only disappointed that Prefab Sprout is just one of the myriad of unusual influences to hand.
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