The Hector Collectors – Remember the Hector Collectors? ..You Won’t Believe What They Sound Like Now!!!!!

There are some bands which truly are one of a kind and The Hector Collectors surely fit the bill and have so since the day they made their first inimitable steps back in the year 2000. Almost tinkering with a revival after their demise/hiatus around 2004, the Glasgow hailing mischiefs are back in full swing with new album, Remember the Hector Collectors? ..You Won’t Believe What They Sound Like Now!!!!!, an encounter which teases, flirts, and keenly pleasures ears in the band’s unique way.

Something akin to a blend of Television Personalities, The Freshies, and Half Man Half Biscuit, the quartet of vocalist A.J.Smith, guitarist I.D.Smith, bassist Joseph Greatorex, and drummer Gavin Dunbar have honed in on their poppiest instincts yet within Remember the Hector Collectors? though that creative dissonance which sets them apart still drives their lo fi revelry.

The album opens up with Drowning in Dorito Chips, rhythms immediately calling on attention before the track’s infectious stroll works on feet and imagination. Flirtatious keys add to the potent lure still led by those manipulative beats and the call of group vocals alongside A.J.’s magnetic lead. With a sniff of Josef K to its untamed pop, the song quickly and deviously got under the skin, establishing itself as surely the next single teaser for the album.

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a 25 Minute Response Video to DESTROY your Argument follows with its own shade of the jangling goodness fuelling its predecessor; the song just as anthemic in its slightly more restrained but no less rascal of an incitement before Content Farm pokes at the appetite with its spikier pop punk antics with a mischievous wink at familiarity. There is a hint of bands like The Sums to the song and also within its successor, Bullies, another inherent indie pop soaked stroll which is pure pleasure courting nostalgia and modern DIY enterprise from within which a Top Buzzer whiff escapes. Featuring as a handful of tracks the featured keys of Dave Gillies, he one of a number of guests across the release including guitarist Cal Wiseman Murray, keyboardists Chris Elkin and Billy Samson, and backing vocalist Martin Smith,  the song like so many needs little help to captivate ears and a never too far from the surface smile.

The brief folkish medieval devilment of White Knight to F5 needed mere seconds to hook feet and lust, a success immediately repeated by next up Just Lovely, another incomplex pop jangle stocked with inescapable hooks and lo-fi misdemeanours recalling essences of bands such as Swell Maps and Fatal Microbes.

Across the pop ‘n’ roll of The Ad Hominem and the pop fray of Overton Window, band and album just accentuate their rich enticements, the first of the pair especially persuasive while Cognitive Dissonance eclipses both with its punk coated misbehaviour again hinting at the seventies and the antics of bands like O‘Level and Teenage Filmstars.

Edgelords provides a satisfying sing-along moment next, one proving very hard to resist within its melodic web with Abandoned Website following up its incitement with its own individual indie rural tinted jangle so easy to get involved with.

The album is completed by the outstanding Leeson Windfarm, a Scars hued encounter with espionage lined rhythms and intrigue loaded guitar. Vocally and lyrically, the song reflects on local and social observations, a regular spark to the band’s smart, playful words and those wicked song titles backed by similarly impish sounds.

As suggested at the start, The Hector Collectors is like few others, if any to be truthful, and as they re-energise their presence with new adventure in their sound that is not going to change any time soon, Remember the Hector Collectors? ..You Won’t Believe What They Sound Like Now!!!!! and its thickly enjoyable fun proof of that.

Remember the Hector Collectors? ..You Won’t Believe What They Sound Like Now!!!!! is out now; available digitally and on Ltd Ed vinyl @ https://thehectorcollectors.bandcamp.com/album/remember-the-hector-collectors-you-wont-believe-what-they-sound-like-now

https://www.facebook.com/thehectorcollectors/

Pete RingMaster 06/11/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Quiet Marauder – Men

Quiet Marauder

     Exactly how good an album Men whilst engulfed by its epic mass of tracks it is hard to actually decide but as a compelling and persistently suggestive slab of fun there are no doubts about the debut album from Welsh band Quiet Marauder. It is a mass of musical and lyrical devilry, a persuasion of anti-folk which parades mischievous anarchy, humorously sculpted incites, and simple daftness across its continually engaging presence. The album is also the band’s attempt to enter the Guinness Book of Records for the longest debut album with 111 tracks. Made up of 4 CDs there are bound to be some ‘fillers’ in that intensive amounts of songs but even when the Bubblewrap Records released album does slip below the high standards set within its body, the tracks come with a charm and wit you can only embrace.

     Quiet Marauder is driven by the Cardiff based songwriting core of Simon M. Read and Jonathan Day with inspirations coming from the likes of The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Syd Barrett, Half Man Half Biscuit, Jeffrey Lewis, and The Fugs. Musically a collective of musicians with an array of sounds and equipment musical and kitchen, the band provides an encounter which is provocative and eccentric bordering crazed and fully evidenced by Men. Their previous self-released EP was a re-imagining of footballer Alan Shearer as a time traveller turned deity inhabiting humanity’s cultural memory after infiltrating all our collective history. Men also carries a concept, if less mad, through its imaginative lunacy, the four volumes of the album ‘charting the path of the male psyche through love, rejection, breakdown, madness, intoxication and, ultimately, resolution’. How much that comes over as you chuckle and roar at a great many of the songs and certainly contemplate most can be debated but as mentioned what is undeniable is the pleasure and frivolity which thrills the ears.

     How to describe Men… well imagine Irish acoustic band The Radioactive Grandma meeting Flight Of The Concords in a quiet-marauders-shortcreative maze with Television Personalities and The Goons, now you get the idea. Released in Wales at the tail of 2013 and in the UK this coming January 27th, it is impossible to cover the whole of the five hours offered so we will pick some of the best tracks on the release, or rather our definite favourites.  From the brief vocally cast opening title track of Vol. 1, the CD offering a parade of songs looking at the male psyche in the pursuit of love, second song The Language of the Body featuring Little Arrow strums out its temptation with acoustic caresses aligned to a melodica seduction. The united array of vocals is excellent, raising a smile with their mischief whilst the lead vocal has a riveting tone like an inebriated Bryan Ferry. The song coaxes the imagination and emotions perfectly and is not equalled again, despite some thoroughly enjoyable engagements, until the almost baroque tones of Love Is a Two Racquet Sport croons contagiously in the ear. Both I’m Sorry I Removed Your Eyes featuring John Mouse and Annabelle spark the passions to greater hunger, the first an energetic dance of jazzy invention and the second a swoon of clumsy romance within a smouldering acoustic enticement. As with all the best songs on the album you cannot help joining in with the chorus, cries, or silliness vocally and emotionally. The quirkily anthemic It Wasn’t Me, It Was The Moon, the hypnotically persuasive The Game featuring Hail! The Planes, and So It Went Like This…. all contest best track honours not only on the first volume but whole album, the last of the trio especially incendiary to feet and an emerging devilish appetite.

     The second volume dealing with a masculine reflective look at past failures which broaden to encompass greater issues is arguably not as strong as its predecessor or certainly does not offer up as many major highlights though again every track tickles and pleases in the right places. The Dancing Did reminding Daddy’s Watching Slugs, a minimalist rhythmic and vocal tempting with again seducing melodica, makes a wonderfully virulent teasing with an additional essence of Cardiacs too it whilst the brilliant I Want A Moustache, Dammit romps with and recruits the fullest passions for its irresistible and infectious melodic swagger. Both hit new pinnacles and maybe highlight the inadequacies of the less impressing ventures even if again it has to be confirmed that there are few if any tracks which leave you lacking any joy or satisfaction. Tesco Terrorism featuring Bensh is another prankish incitement of impish artistry which is immediately followed by the outstanding Impressive, a naggingly addictive stroll of vocal and melodic rascality. Though the second disc is not the strongest as suggested earlier it does provide some of the very best songs and example of the irreverently enthralling imagination and almost coltish ingenuity of the band. With mentions for the brilliant Young Knives like If We Were Playas with Houdini Dax guesting and Every Last Dinosaur with the addition of again John Mouse to its exceptional luring a must,  we move to the third and fourth volumes.

     CD three is the strongest of the four collections of songs. From the verging on psychotically mad second track Genes And A Good Name featuring Spencer McGarry the rib tickling evocations just keep coming with the likes of the Bertie Wooster like relish of I’m Beau Brummell And I’m Just Dandy and the Blade Runner tantalising of the cyber bred Do Androids Dream Of Electric Nonsense lighting new waves of hunger for the cunning lyrical and musical mastery at work. The sultry antics of the rampantly enticing Gin and Jazz lights more lofty flames of pleasure alongside the likes of the rapacious and shadowed antics lyrically unveiled by The Business Deal which includes Jimmy Watkins of Future Of The Left, a song with a St. Pierre Snake Invasion punk voice to it. More must mentions go to I Took Some Pills I Found On The Floor, Everyday Is A Good Day, and The Day The Animals Went Fuckin’ Crazy!, further gems amongst more than a few.

    The concluding CD is again arguably less flirty with big highlights but a stretch with a strong wash of inventive and fuller bodied songs. It also offers one of the most irritatingly addictive songs on the album in the smouldering yet impossible addictive presence of Naughty Nights, a potent slow burn of vocal knavery and melodic coaxing which worms under the skin and psyche to repeat like gassy wind at any given moment. Its lofty perch is admittedly challenged by subsequent tracks like Clever Quote From Mark Twain with Andrew Paul Regan helping out, and the delicious Every Time We Think Of One Another featuring Francesca’s Word Salad, but most of all from the gypstep waltz of Hello The Robotic Singularity, doom and partying all in one flight of invention as well as the world’s final conversation, Humanity’s Final Hour. To be honest favourites shift with every listen, as even whilst writing Imaginary Music with its Gary Numan and Are Friends Electric? seeding makes its claim, reminding just how many and irrepressible and thrilling songs are on Men.

    Featuring a flood of other guest artists in its midst, whether you can listen to the album in one swoop is debatable as at times repetitions of melodies and rhythmic sculpting is apparent to temper the effect of some, but you can certainly shape a vast array of different playlists to enjoy from its admittedly surprising excellence to only enjoy without restraint. At the start you cannot help expecting plenty of flab and flannel in an album of so many tracks but Quiet Marauder soon and constantly set those thoughts straight. A brilliant album…still not sure but an unreservedly enjoyable one there is no question and the easiest of recommendations to make.

http://www.quietmarauder.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Quiet-Marauder/357156500982561

8.5/10

RingMaster 24/01/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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