Classic sounding pop-rock (with an indie tinge) led by a Fender Rhodes organ. That instrument gives a certain hue to Gurgles' sound, refreshingly different to much of the Bradford scene from which they come. In fact, Gurgles feature a member of both Mucky Sailor and Nope, so probably makes for a very satisfying sideline! On Saltaire Recordings.
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LP on Saltaire Recordings.
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This was produced by Hookworms' MJ at his Suburban Home (you can tell immediately by the amount of slapback echo on the vocals), but whereas Hookworms play one chord, Gurgles play a million.
Opener ‘You’re Madder Than Me’ sets its stall out to update the kind of complex proggy pop that terminally unfashionable sorts like Cardiacs play but with a ‘70s soft rock feel courtesy of the lead instrument being a Fender Rhodes. ‘Eccleshill’ (an area of Bradford which spawned both David Hockney and Richard Whiteley) is a wandering slab of complica-pop which feels like some of the early Prefab Sprout recordings on ‘Swoon’ where they were far too clever for their own good. The ghost of Steely Dan is evident throughout but most noticeable on ‘How Could I Tell’ in which clever chord changes are coupled with a cheesy ‘80s chorus straight out of the Wet Wet Wet songbook. Occasionally they Emerson, Lake and Prog, especially on the opening of ‘Summer in the Sun’ with keyboards in twiddle overload. I’m torn between wanting to shake their collective hands for such sheer audacity and wanting to slap them all across the face with a wet haddock.
Do approach with caution but if you enjoy the clever sod pop of folks like The Chap, the Free French and Jim O’Rourke and then this is the kind of thing you might find yourself getting easily entangled in.
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