Super 8 – T-T-T-Technicolour Melodies (Futureman Records)
CD / DL
7.5 / 10
UK based singer/songwriter releases album of non-stop, hip-hop, folk rock.
The joy of reviewing music is that it throws up albums that you otherwise never have encountered. The joy is made bigger by some of the quality of those releases. T-T-T-Technicolour Melodies from Super 8 is one such album.
Written, performed, recorded and produced in true lo-fi style by Paul Ryan this is an album with many influences. Cited as being motivated by The Monkees there are also other clear (and not so clear) ‘tributes’ held within. Maybe Deeper Than The Deepest Sea has more than a hint of Screamadelica era Primal Scream and Catsuit may even a tip of the hat in the direction of Donovan or Cat Stevens and, with a voice coming in somewhere between Brother JT and Lloyd Cole things couldn’t really be much rosier.
It’s all incredibly good stuff, some brilliant melodies and highly addictive choruses – take the title track for instance which would take a soulless individual not to feel something during playback. One of those repetitive straplines that is impossible to shake free, a fabulous militarian percussion beat towards end and, simply a great tune.
Ryan nestles in comfortably with many of those great songwriters around today – Stu Kidd, Ben Mason, Johnno Casson – the sort who seem to effortlessly write songs that you instantly take to your heart. There might be touches of vintage Dylan thrown into Super 8 too, that croaky, almost lazy vocal that sometimes feels as though it won’t last until the end of the line. Just A Serenade and To Morocco are wonderful acoustic contributions and Travelling Light also continues the feel.
The wonderfully titled S.K.Y (Stop Killing Yourself) begins with a backwards recording and continues with a sound that is maybe meant to simulate a life support machine behind some genuinely hearlfelt lyrics and, could Hey Non Believer be a hidden tribute to the The Monkees’ biggest hit as it enters blues territory? Wonderful guitar playing indeed.
Ending with My Sweet Baby Jane you can’t help but feel that you’ve stumbled across something pretty good with T-T-T-Technicolour Melodies as it appears to be one of those albums that will continually be taken from the music collection and given an airing. Great stuff.