David West continues work on his baby, the ever versatile Rat Columns, through a series of punk rock and pop plot twists that don't quite hook up but never really intend to. His EP for Blackest Ever Black under this moniker was tinged with a light psychedelia and had an earnestly classic feel to it, though that makes no guarantees on this record's sound.
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I've just been reading a biography of Elvis Costello. Not that I like Elvis Costello in one little bit - I just like to read about musicians going slightly insane. I mention this because 'Someone Else's Dream' the opener here sounds rather like Costello. It has organ - lashings of it and tough as teak guitars and a melody that is good without knocking me sideways. David West aka Rat Columns obviously can abide late '70s New Wave but he also liked mid 80's indie. 'She Loves the Rain' has a Go Betweens feel to it with an intense vocal delivery over janglesome guitars. Though 'Blinded By the Shadow' is a weird sidestep into dub, the best bits of this features sunny side up guitar pop that will appeal to fans of the Smiths, Lloyd Cole and the Servants particularly on 'Time's No Vessel'.
Side two is weirder - tapping somewhat into that eerie Antipodeon style of cinematic pop dominated by the Triffids and the Apartments. The pick of the bunch is 'You Don't Have To Try' which is spooky like some of the Go Betweens stranger moments such as 'River of Money' but bursts into a lovely chorus as if the musical equivalent of a flower opening.
It's spindly at times but good fun and has the sort of uniquely crafted songs you won't find on the high street.
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