‘As Jungle Drums Rang Across The Amazon (We Held Our Heads And Screamed)’/ ‘Richer Than My Tribe’
The RingMaster Review has been enamoured with Cardiff discord indie pop maestros The Victorian English Gentlemens Club since purchasing their double A-sided single ‘Amateur Man’ / ‘Ban the Gin’ in 2006 on the back of the band name alone. From then through their debut self titled album, its follow up Love On An Oil Rig and numerous singles the trio has never failed to get the pulse racing and satisfied the eager anticipation that builds before each release. Such was the case with the bands recently released third album Bag Of Meat from which the new double A-side ‘As Jungle Drums Rang Across The Amazon (We Held Our Heads And Screamed)’/ ‘Richer Than My Tribe‘ has been taken.
The double A-side release due to drop on September 5th via This Is Fake DIY Records, brings more of the bands distinctive and unique frenzied rock sounds coated in incisive and addictive melodies and undeniable incessant hooks and lures. Their sound is uncomplicated though under the surface not as simple as it often seems their intelligent if crazed creations are inspired and determined, and most of all irrepressible.
‘As Jungle Drums Rang Across The Amazon (We Held Our Heads And Screamed)‘ strolls through the ear with chunky guitars and vibrant insurgent sounds and hooks. Lean and mean it strikes deep inside with an 80’s post punk feel something that is a little different to their earlier songs. In small degrees one is reminded of bands like Wire, The Fire Engines, and Cardiacs, the flavour seemingly interpreted and infused into the bands very solitary and special sound. Adam Taylor with guitar and especially his voice are as always expressive with a manic tinge that compliments the music’s agitated edge. Backed by the more stable tones of bassist Louise Mason and the hypnotic beats of James Griffiths, once more The Victorian English Gentlemens Club create a musical flourish of insane beauty.
Lyrically the songs are as ever diverse and fascinating as ever and the words of the band themselves gives the best descriptions, the first of the two songs is “a pop song that’s been through one of those old-fashioned shaky exercise machines leaving a thinner, sweatier, jerking, catchy racket. It’s about feeling sick and abandoned after someone you trusted and relied on lets you down. It’s set in the Amazon to add some 70s-style surreal escapism; it’s grey, British problems in a jungle. It started life as an ESG bassline, went through a million incarnations and arguments, and ended up being stripped-down and straight-up” and ‘Richer Than My Tribe’ is “a bass and drum boom: a racket with enough audio space to swing an African puma in. It’s about those guilty feelings of pleasure from taking a sick day off an inane job, being bored but not bored to insanity – a small victory song for freedom. It’s the first song that was written for the album; it defined the bass sound for the album, and is the first TVEGC song with rhyming in it”.
‘Richer Than My Tribe’ is a discordant groove that inflames the senses, its throbbing swing grabbing the listener and take them on a frenzied electrified ride in sound and feel. The song’s mesmerising hook plays in the head as the vocals and band confront and play with the senses as only this band know how. The blend of melodies, harmonies and all things safe intertwined with daring and challenging thoughts and sounds catching the listener off guard wonderfully.
The Victorian English Gentlemens Club makes cryptic music of the most glorious kind and this double A-sided single is the perfect introduction to the band and their unique musical minds and sound. Once hooked by them there is no escape, not that you will want to. The Victorian English Gentlemens Club is one of the most important reasons and examples of why music fuels so many souls.