Every flight with a Scant Regard album has proven a full adventure in imaginative sight and manipulative sound, each a spark for the imagination and a newly animated spirit and new full-length, Massive Cult Following, is no different. The solo project of Will Crewdson, the seventh Scant Regard album is a web of cinematic intimation amidst an electro/indie escapade. Fair to say its predecessors can be described as the same but none have been so diversely woven and boldly intrepid as the mighty Massive Cult Following.
As most will know, Crewdson is renowned for his part and work in the successes of artists such as Adam Ant, The Selecter, Johnette Napolitano, Rachel Stamp, Flesh for Lulu and so many more with the guitarist just as firmly drawing acclaim as one half of She Made Me Do It over recent years. Similarly he has left a thick mark on attention and eager praise with his Scant Regard endeavours, the last pair of albums in Skipping Over Damaged Area and You Know The Drill sparking the richest haul of each. The second of the two and predecessor to Massive Cult Following was an especially potent incitement on ears and pleasure, yet it too has been matched and so often eclipsed by its compelling successor.
The new release is a kaleidoscope of flavours and styles across its 12 song body, the continual variety in Crewdson’s music and imagination even more sharply focused as too the cinematic quality of his creativity. Each track is like viewing a scene from a movie or running within espionage or sci-fi flavoured TV shows; the imagination as fully employed as an equally incited bouncing body.
The album opens with Blunt Horizon and immediately tempts with an eighties seeded electronic coaxing, synths beckoning and teasing with their flirtatious lures. Crewdson’s just as inviting tones are soon alongside, it all entwined in the melodic wires and infectious jangle of his guitar. Though not greedily energetic, the song is dance-floor incitement which escalates its urgency with recurring waves of eagerness, physical animation matched in the liveliness of atmospheric suggestion.
It is a compelling start to the release which is instantly eclipsed by the glorious venture of Lunar Orchid. Again electronic infection collides with guitar hookery and Crewdson casts a magnetic intimation for ears and imagination to explore. The instrumental is a spatial journey yet with a swarthy western bound grounding, numerous outcomes conjured in the mind across just as many listens such its cinematic prowess and intrigue.
Fistbump is next up; its shadow lined, tempest teasing presence soon springing encouraging and reassuring unity with esurient catchiness. A remedy for current times, the track is a rousing fusion of electronic and guitar dexterity but one which never lets you take it for granted as it twists and turns with gripping unpredictability before Listen to the Brand swings in with devilish intent. The track is a master-class in manipulation; its swagger and swing pure incitement to a quickly copying body with Crewdson’s invention under the skin as swiftly as the song’s rock ‘n’ roll driven contagion.
There is an immediate threat and seduction to the following Vampire State Building, its initial touch fuelled by both and reaping their strengths as it casts its suggestively dark picturesque tale. The track is a tapestry of rock flavours, the electronic bonding between them just as rapaciously evocative with its Fad Gadget like breath while Original Vigilante is as sinister as it is brightly lit though even that has an incendiary energy to its radiance and presence. Both tracks are rich examples of Crewdson’s instrumental prowess and rich storytelling songwriting, each conveying and suggesting narratives as potently as any of the word and vocal coloured adventures around them.
The following cover of Depeche Mode classic Just Can’t Get Enough proved just irresistible, its original uniqueness and infectious prowess only twisted and intensified respectively by Crewdson’s own creative individuality; such ear gripping enterprise unsurprisingly at large again within the quickly addictive CrO2 and its myriad of twists and turns within melodic contagion. The threads and lines drawn by the guitar alone are enough to have the mind weaving, the electronic climate around them shaping the adventures to emerge as much as Crewdson’s words while Teeth on the Wheel instigates its own influence of the imagination with sharp enterprise even if maybe it was not as deeply under the skin as other moments within the album.
Through the dysfunctional quick step contagiousness of Nobody Talks and Stickleback Lies with its sonic drama equipped with a delicious bounty of guitar spun hooks and creative lures, Massive Cult Following only tightened its grip on ears before closing out with the surf lit magnificence of The Lightning Brigade. Our favourite track by a whisker such the strength of the album, it is a beguiling slice of Will Crewdson craftsmanship effortlessly flitting between styles and flavours whilst providing a sonic narrative which bears a thousand words in the imagination.
It is a sublime conclusion to an album which in a time of life consuming viral trespass provides virulence we can only embrace and become greedy for. We declared You Know The Drill last time around the finest Scant Regard encounter, Massive Cult Following has just announced it was merely a step to something even more spectacular.
Massive Cult Following is out now; available @ https://scantregard.bandcamp.com/album/massive-cult-following and https://www.scantregard.com/store
Pete RingMaster 22/10/2020