Trials and turbulences are no strangers to most bands but few as acute as that which impacted on British outfit The Tuesday Club and almost brought it to an end. Now though they are poised to release “unlikely album 3” in the shape of Art Is Magic, a slab of multi-flavoured rock ‘n’ roll which certainly gets under the skin in no time but an itch which just gets more delicious and addictive by the listen. It is their finest moment built across ten bold devilish tracks embracing old and new sounds with a unique imagination and their inimitable touch.
Formed in 2011 in Walmington-on-Sea, the renowned setting for British legendary comedy Dad’s Army, The Tuesday Club was an eight piece extravaganza of sound and creative revelry embracing the sights and mischief of their home town’s TV heritage. Their sound blossomed with the punk nurtured DIY attitude and inspiring sounds of the late seventies yet from day one cast its own aural image as proven by debut album See You Next Tuesday in 2013. It was a proposition though which was evolving from that first release and in open exploration by the band’s second album which was released as a quadrilogy of four EPs.
Devastation hit after the release of the first EP when drummer Terry Super Cockell tragically died. Though the band completed the album’s unveiling it was obviously without zeal; as they say the following EPs released in a ‘daze’, with the band falling to its knees and closing in on demise as members subsequently left. It was a challenging, life questioning and changing time which was not so obvious to the outside world at the time such the quality of those releases but maybe now best understood by checking out Reverse Family’s current project 365 days of songwriting, the band the solo project of TTC’s founding member Andreas Vanderbraindrain though he goes by Dermot Illogical for it. It is a still on-going colossal collection of tracks written across those times released as an EP a week for a year, many of its songs spawned from the darkness he personally fell into through those times.
TTC did survive though, its remaining members regrouping and finding a new breath and energy, stripping away “much of the old ‘glamour’ replacing it with a new urgency and directness.” Alongside vocalist Vanderbraindrain, the band now consists of guitarist Dave Worm, bassist/keyboardist Rogerio Marauder, and drummer Blairdrick Sharpely. As they suggested, the quartet has stripped back the TTC sound and brought forward its raw breath and instinctive imagination whilst broadening yet honing its creative flavourings and adventure.
Art is Magic opens with its title track, slipping in on a rhythmic coaxing until a lash of sound sparks a post punk lined stroll led by Vanderbraindrain’s distinctive tones. The song prowls the senses, keys simultaneously providing a melancholic yet mystique lined caress; it all uniting in an infectious swing and call to join its arcane devilry. Captivation was swift and only escalated as the track tempted and teased with its seventies lent enterprise.
It is a thickly potent start to the album keenly backed by the poppier rock exploits of Always taking things too far. It bounces around like a mix of Athletico Spizz 80 and Mammal Hum, a fusion of new wave and art rock which poked the appetite initially, whetted its lips further before thereon in fully teasing eager greed by the listen. It is a trait of the album as a whole, making an attention grabbing first impression but spawning lustier reactions by the play though some songs like Soulless City Syndrome had us instantly drooling. Its opening noir tinted intimation simply nurtured intrigue, the following electronic and tenacious punk ‘n’ roll of the song sparking the passions as it cantered lustfully through ears. The best track on Art is Magic, it twists and lures like an Adicts meets Zanti Misfits inspired dervish wearing a cape woven with threads of The Monochrome Set for one unique and gorgeous encounter.
It is a hard task to follow such a pinnacle yet Fruit Salad Girl with its spiky pop rock makes relatively light work of it, the infection loaded romp a nagging rock ‘n’ roll roar which had the body bouncing and vocal chords blaring in no time before Drowning My Sorrows allowed a breath to be taken with its folk pop saunter. Not that it is a dormant on the catchiness, its easy going but boisterous swing leading feet and hips away like a collusion of The Farmer Boys and Swell Maps.
Put your Faith in what you can control similarly has a laid back but tenaciously catchy gait and demeanour, again the band’s lo-fi instincts breeding a richly appetising temptation as rhythmically persuasive as it is melodically and lyrically sharp. Thus eager involvement was swift and as forcibly recruited by the bolder rousing punk ‘n’ roll of We are the Team, a song which is the band announcing they are undefeated and returning with new vigour and invention whilst creating a personal declaration for all to embrace.
It would be a shock not to have the scent of early Adam and The Ants somewhere within a TTC encounter, Let the kids run the country the irresistible moment within Art Is Magic as the band source their own earlier traits and another influences’ for a greed brewing slice of aural virulence before the darker tone and shadows of Rock and Roll’s not a science infests ears and psyche like a viral infection you cannot shake off, or in this case want to. The song reminded of short lived Welsh punks The Table at times but again TTC spin a web of sound and addiction all their own.
The album concludes with Who and youz army, a rhythmically tenacious and infectiously barbed slice of punk rock which would have aroused air punching crowds back in the day just as now. Its hooks are familiar yet inescapable and its character old school with the irritability of today; ingredients ensuring Art Is Magic goes out on a major high.
Listening to their album just hits home what we would be missing without The Tuesday Club and how lucky newcomers will be now discovering them through such a glorious romp.
Art Is Magic is released May 6th with its launch party the same night @ The Lower Red Lion in St. Albans pre-ordering available now @ https://theperfectpopco-op.bandcamp.com/album/art-is-magic
Pete RingMaster 30/03/2018
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