The latest chapter in the ongoing sound world of the Fresh and Only's took them three years to complete but continues the anything goes art punk/ technicolour garage pop of their previous five full length releases. The band is nothing if not multi faceted and here take you on a journey through jangle pop, desert rock and primitive rock and roll.
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It's not helping that the CD is skipping but I'm finding it difficult to even locate the usual 'one good song per album' the Fresh and Only's furnish us with. It's certainly not in evidence over the first three tracks which flit past without leaving an impression. 'Qualm of Innocence' I suppose has a spacious minimalism about it that allows Tim Cohen's voice to float over effectively.
In fact the album is a series of songs that pay more mind to a type of Mark Lanegan-ish mystery rock than the burbling psych rock of yore. Fresh and Only's have no interest in writing in pop bursts. Instead it's about creating a drifting narrative of taut guitars and stretched out arrangements. I'm reminded somewhat of Echo and the Bunnymen in their 80's pomp. This is seriously swirling rock at times and the slow burn songwriting suggests further listens are required. They don't help themselves with monochromatic arrangements and the ZZ Top fuzz on 'Impossible Man' doesn't have immediate ear appeal but though the hooks are hidden, they are there.
You just have to have patience. More interested in the cinematic these days, the Fresh and Only's are waiting for you to make the effort to step into the world. If you do, I suspect you will be rewarded.
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