Poptone - Poptone (Cleopatra Records)
LP / CD / DL
8 June 2018
Review by Jay.
Opening up with a gritty, almost Edwyn Collins guitar grit and Rock n Roll vocal delay ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ is a simple, driving tune reminiscent of a slower Suicide. ‘This Is The Pops’ has an almost Devo vibe to it with it’s chorus-driven bass and scratty guitar sound and the rough and ready feel to it is really appealing. The production is really good with some fantastic stereo effects and ‘Mirror People’ has some banging drums on it. It could even be a Timpani from the sounds of it and it chugs along like a Krautrock version of Shakin Stevens or The Sweet if T-Rex were playing their songs.
‘Movement Of Fear’ opens with a spacey saxophone wonk-solo before slipping into a slidey bass riff covered in creepy vocals and isn’t too far from some of David Bowie’s later experimental works. ‘Happiness’ brings things back up to a groove again with its marching snare drum and crazy percussion and walking bass lines. It sounds a lot like Bananarama’s ‘It Aint What You Do (It’s The Way That You Do It)’ come to think of it.
The only word to describe this album is eclectic and ‘No Big Deal’ starts out like Tom Waits with its distorted, fuzzy bass and standard blues structure. There are even slight similarities to Robert Smith’s vocals from The Cure in places and it chops and clumps along like an overdriven monster, whereas ‘Lions’ sounds like Portishead turned into a Nintendo game soundtrack sung by The Zombies. It’s not the most cohesive album this year but that’s charming in many ways and with ‘Love Me’ sounding like the closest thing to a single (it even has a gong in it), then it’s worth wondering what track is coming next.
There are synths, millions of guitar fx, delayed vocals, crazy production and track by track surprises which make this a great album to listen to if not just for the unexpected twists and turns it presents. Definitely worth a listen for those who enjoy cluntering, gritty, experimental pop music with distortion everywhere.