Former member of The Pills and touring member of The Cardinals, Corin Ashley had started working on Broken Bisquits when he suffered a severe stroke. After a year he managed to bring himself back from partial paralysis and finish it. A heady mix of The Beatles, power pop and psychedelia. Features a duet with Tanya Donnelly of Throwing Muses.
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Who likes solo Paul McCartney? I've recently been trying to work my way through his solo albums sometimes wanting to squash an egg in excitement, at other times wanting to throw the lot out of the window. This album by Cardinal bass player Corin Ashley has a similar effect on me. He plays a winsome brand of wandering music hall-influenced psychedelic pop that sometimes sounds as brilliant as 'Ram' ('Broken Biscuit 3' and the Tanya Donnelly assisted 'Wind Up Boy') then at other points makes you want to play 'Pipes of Peace' as some kind of ear cleanser. Ashley has a lovely careworn voice that sits right in the middle of McCartney and Robert Pollard - it has just the right amount of grit to give these songs a touch of class but the cloying arrangements are a little too sickly sweet to devour in one go and when he tries to rock out particularly on 'Little Crumbles' the results are disastrous.
Still I'm pleased that people still make music like this. It has elements of Squeeze, Big Star, the Raspberries and the dBs in here and there are moments of loveliness amongst the whimsy ('Junior Partner' is gorgeous)....and the Lemon Twigs have had much success doing a very similar thing so there is hope for this kind of whimsical 70s influenced songcraft yet.
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