Approaching the new album from UK duo Frauds it came as a surprise, shock even that our introduction to the band through their striking debut album, With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice, was way back in the last throes of 2017. The time gap to its successor caught us out because that seriously striking encounter has remained one of the consistent plays on our personal playlists of choice ever since so still feels the freshest pleasure. Its enslavement also means that Long Spoons had a vast plenty to live up to.
Frauds emerged late 2012, created by Mikey Alvarez (guitar/vocals) and Chris Francombe (drum/vocals). Their sound is a post punk bred proposal with noise punk tendencies which has been unafraid to evolve and involve a host of new flavours and textures as proven by Long Spoons. To influences such as Nick Cave, Sonic Youth, Fugazi, Mclusky, and Hot Snakes the Croydon band has drawn new inspiration from world music artists like Altin Gün and Tinariwen to grime and hip hop artists such as CASisDEAD and Ghetts between releases though we would suggest there is plenty more on top sparking the imagination and creativity of the pair within their new offering. Alongside the band’s snarl at the world and their inherent tongue in cheek mischief is as potent as ever which made Long Spoons unscrupulously compelling from its first breath.
To that list of inspirations previously mentioned Long Spoons at certain times also sparked thoughts of bands such as Gang of Four, Raketkanon, The St. Pierre Snake Invasion, Slaves and Section 25, it all bringing greater adventure to a sound and release which has Frauds indelibly stamped on every twist and turn. It opens up with Opening Banquet, the song prowling ears and intimidation with its single minded but rousing declaration. It teases it taunts, and provided an intriguing and already compelling lure to the release which Calorie Count instantly seized upon.
The second track sidles up in an entanglement of sonic wires, rhythms sinisterly jabbing for matching attention before embracing the toxic grooves and vocal arousal of the duo. Quickly it is an incitement of flaying sound, every move unorthodox and invasive and each twist a lust drawing temptation. In many ways, the track epitomises all the impressive attributes found within that first full-length but is equally soon revealing the new melodic intent and dynamic clamorous dexterity breaking new realms in the band’s web of sound.
Put Em Up is next and similarly needs a mere breath to impose its enticement on the imagination. From vocals to rhythms, sonic trespass to infectious appetite, the track is a pugilistic pleasure; standing toe to toe with the listener in voice and intent, swinging its creative limbs with grinning venom. There is an internal turbulence at play too which lines the brief vocal prose of The Entire Weekend and colours the imposingly challenging Copenhagen. This is a track that pushes the warmth and transmission of temptation with a voracious antagonism yet brings the richest swarm of infectiousness to bear on the senses, a whiff of Pere Ubu in its creative sanity ensuring unbridled captivation.
From the aberrant swing of Money Honey, a track what winds itself around the imagination like a predacious siren devouring all it can get its hands on with increasing mania and jeopardy, and the nightmarish seduction of Your Eyes, the album only burrowed deeper under the skin. The sensational second of the two is another that stalks its victim from its first breath but equally seduces with a melodic grace and a tempting in voice and sway that proved irresistible. Menace and flirtation unite in its low key but thickly rich bait, subservient involvement in its increasingly forceful senses preying dilemma swiftly given.
Just as greedily devoured was the following Sweet Martha, a track which is more of an interlude as described in the album’s press release and an ode to an employee at Europcar who at the last moment and against the odds managed to enable the band to travel to Belgium to record the album at GAM Studios. The track is a gentle swing of melodic and thankful radiance, another moment impossible not to share in sentiment and voice.
Both Woke Life with its entanglement of grooves and rhythmic incursion around vocal clamour and Melchett through its punk fuelled, anomalously woven tango sparked the imagination and an already awoken greed further, the latter especially manipulative on the instincts while Tell Her You Miss Her weaved a tapestry of incongruous romance and discordant seduction bound in intimate turmoil and consumptive drama.
The track is another major highlight in only such heights across Long Spoons and quickly matched in persuasion and gripping enterprise by Ships which instantly stomps around ears with magnetic trespass and a matching design in twists and turns; it all echoed in the ever rousing vocal combinations of Mikey and Chris.
Concluded by the skilled sonic babel of Delorian, a track which surges upon the senses like creative bedlam but provides the most composed and beautiful woven incursion of sound and drama to feast upon, Long Spoons in one listen proved one compelling and over further time one of this year’s most vital and greedily devoured incitements. It provoked and encouraged and left a pang for more, an echo of the success of that first meeting with the band but far more intense and enlivening not forgetting impressive so dare you….?
Long Spoons is out now via Alcopop! Records.
Pete RingMaster 14/10/2021
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