Into:Music – Writer’s Choice – Best Album of April 2019
Fat White Family – Serfs Up!
It’s fair to say that the likelihood of a third Fat White Family was somewhat dubious following the well-documented implosion of the band post the 2016 release Songs For Our Mothers, with a variety of side projects popping up and other issues reported down the line. Pleasingly, all the hubris seems to be a thing of the past and the band have returned with their most self assured release to date.
Early single Feet is the album opener, a creeping and insistent beat leads the tune with singer Lias providing a deadpan vocal, complementing the background instrumentation to perfection. Follow up single I Believe In Something Better recalls early 80s synthesizers and lurid pop which elevate the song to a grandeur few can match.
The start of Fringe Runner has a whiff of Radio Ga Ga before a bass line straight from White Lines kicks in. This is classic Fat White Family, the lyrics, as they are throughout the album, almost understated but deft enough to underpin the energy of the track, assisted by tempestuous keyboards and harmonised backing vocals.
Baxter Drury lends vocals to Tastes Good With The Money, perhaps the stand out track on the album. If Gregorian chants, a T-Rex style vocal and an insane beat are your thing, this one ticks all the boxes. The song boldly struts, it stomps and will have you dancing at the temple of groove.
Pearlfishers – Love & Other Hopeless Things
It’s been a few years since we’ve had a Pearlfishers release, so new album Love & Other Hopeless Things is a timely reminder of their talent and how easy they seem to be able to write classic pop songs. The title track is a case in point, “This old town was every jewelled prize, like a miracle that split the skies”. Lead protagonist David Scott has a way with words, has an ear for a melody and is stylistic in the same way that says, Michael Head and Brian Wilson are, good company to have.
The album is orchestral and filled with strings and horns which complement the lyrics perfectly. Could Be A Street Could Be A Saint is just that. Scott singing “people are beautiful” throughout. It’s 4 minutes of harmonious bliss.
There’s 11 songs on this release (through the wonderful Marina Records) and it’s difficult to pick out the stand out tracks as the album is consistently strong, sublime grooves, simplistic pop and is utterly brilliant, a lush, wondrous concoction. Perhaps You Can Take Me There sums it up best, with its lyric “get ready to be overjoyed”. I couldn’t put it better myself.