No relation to Elvis, Tim Presley has obviously spent far too much time hanging out with Cate Le Bon if the sounds of 'Clue' are anything to believed. It's not dissimilar to their collaborative effort as the Drink in that it features jerky post-punk rhythms and weird detached vocals. In fact the whole thing was produced by Cate Le Bon so everything is starting to make sense.
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Ok this is starting to make some kind of sense. Tim Presley was Mr White Fence making plenty of decent Syd Barrett inspired fuzzy psych pop then he met Cate Le Bon and it was 'moider'. They made an album as Drinks that was by turn inspiring and infuriating and now Le Bon has helped produce this solo LP which stays sort of in the same vein. The opening track here is two minutes of car horn beeping but it's worth sitting through for the title track which kind of updates Syd Barrett to the modern day with a slice of the wonkiest pop you could ever imagine. The chords wander seemingly where they like and the song disappears up it's own arse with melodic panache. Presley's whole schtick these days seems to make highly compressed oddball pop with tangled new wave guitars intertwining and lop sided Pere Ubu like structures. Presley's voice sits somewhere between detached and bored and it sometimes feels that he's only singing to fulfill a contractual obligation.
I have a new challenge. How to write about a track like 'Goldfish Wheelchair' without using the words 'Syd' or 'Barrett'. It sounds just like something off 'The Madcap Laughs' as played by the Red Krayola.
It's all very clever, all very quirky but I'm not sure how much I enjoy it. There's not much warmth in Presley's songs, they all seem to be in a race to out clever each other rather than to provide an emotional connection. However if you like early Scritti Politti, the Raincoats, the television Personalities then you'll find plenty of weird here.
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- The Wink by Tim Presley
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