Ever had that dream where an insect invades the ear and sets up home to mercilessly tease and torment thereon in? If so, a form of similar reality is about to be unleashed as the Reverse Family step forward to announce themselves with a sound which trespasses and festers in the psyche. The difference is that this is set to be the most welcome invasion of ears as it crawls with relish into the imagination.
Reverse Family is the solo project of Walmington-on-Sea resident Dermot Illogical, better known as Andreas Vanderbraindrain, the frontman of British band The Tuesday Club. Aided by a fluid band of collaborators from time to time, the new offering from Dermot is a lo-fi exploration into an experimental DIY web of sounds and flavours which is hard to pin down but certainly embraces everything from post punk and noise pop to indie and old school punk.
The RingMaster Review had the honour and pleasure to be the first to hear the tracks set to make up My Songs About Life Mid Crisis, the debut album from Reverse Family which is not due until next year through Perfect Pop Co-op but makes the ideal introduction to the new proposition so we thought we would share our findings within its dementedly addictive lures.
The first song we came up against was Alchopoppers on Fast Food, a brief and gentle yet deviously engaging song which instantly entices thoughts of seventies bands like Swell Maps and The Shapes but with the melodic natures of The Freshies. It is captivating stuff even with a drop into calmer waters which does not quite connect with personal tastes. We are not sure of the album’s track order but if this is to be the opener it provides a potent start though the brilliant Way It Goes is an even bigger pull. Carrying an early Adam and The Ants feel to its magnetic stroll, the song is pure addiction with a funk revelry bubbling under its pop punk surface, Dermot as vocally mischievous as the guitar led sounds around him.
There is great variety to the songs too; Bit Slits for example flirting with the senses through keys which manage to sound like the brass flames of Essential Logic while guitar and vocals veer towards the Nikki Sudden school of discord blessed minimalistic seduction while Electronic 6 entangles portentous keys and winy guitars with fuzzy vocals for a Dalek I Love You/Artery scented melancholy. It is fair to say that Dermot wears influences openly yet each song develops its own distinct character under often familiar hues.
Hand of God has a darker and meatier nature to its predacious swing, contagious hooks and a great grumbling bassline aligning with melodic enterprise for a proposal which swiftly grips ears and appetite; a success just as easily won by the lively pop bounce of One Eyed, a seemingly early Television Personalities seeded encounter and the hypnotic I Can Sense Their Watching Eyes. This too has a flavour of Dirk Wears White Sox to it but with funky beats and another irresistible post punk guitar jangle in its off kilter dub teased shuffle, the track blossoming into another unique proposition within My Songs About Life Mid Crisis.
Other tracks in the mix are Business or Pleasure, a delicious song which sounds like Weezer soaping The Piranhas while recording it all in the bath, The Legend of Pierre with its haunting keys wrapped sultry croon, and Odd Mix Newgates, a seductive magnetic monotone tone spawned track surely inspired by Mark E. Smith.
The collection of tracks are completed by Higher Power with plaintive melodies and dour yet emotionally suggestive vocals and the outstanding May Number 10 Dream which again hints at bands like The Fall, Marc Riley and The Creepers, and The Mekons, as well as the criminally catchy Sods Law. Hips and feet beware as even in its low key nature it will have you swinging in an instant.
There are so many highlights offered by the Reverse Family songs; each track connecting with an ever eager hunger for punk fuelled, post punk spiced imagination. Plastic Punks epitomises this perfectly, its Fire Engines toned melodic jangle and Spizzenergi devilry sheer temptation again emerging as something specific to Reverse Family.
With a tongue in cheek lining to the lyrical reflection shaping songs which spreads into the music itself, Reverse Family is a beguiling adventure with a nod to the past and a grip on an imagination as fresh as it is, well quite simply a touch loco.
As mentioned My Songs About Life Mid Crisis is due for release next April but it is never too soon to get into something this craftily tasty.
Pete RingMaster 07/11/2016
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