In the late 70’s / early 80’s the German electronic godfathers of electronic music – Kraftwerk – explored the joys of technology in a series of masterful records. Each blip and beep was celebrated – the sounds of a calculator became a a joyful ode in its own right. Seemingly in a world of their own, it seemed as far away from the social protest music of The Clash as you could get. The mid 90’s brought us Radiohead and their fears of the darker side of technology. #1 records and a fan base that considered (considers) themselves underground, at 10 million strong or so. These are all seemingly disparate elements – bands from a different time & place approaching different topical concerns. Fortunately Rotherham, England’s Curry Quiche have thought to take these elements and concoct them into a musical offering that is wholly original – and entrancing.
The band consists of Steve Fidler on Vocals & Guitar, Shaun Sowray – Vocals & Keyboard (pitch bending), Jonny Haynes on Bass Guitar, Adam Flannagan on Guitar, and Brian Waller on Drums. The musical interludes remind me of Blur (Parklife era), The Clash, and even a more organic Kraftwerk (or as a hipster may say – early 70’s Kraftwerk). The band describes the music as influenced by social decline in England and how technology has become more important than having real human connections (Guys – I understand. I live in a neighborhood that looks like the set of Edward Scissorhands). The music never sounds depressing – it embraces an energetic vibe and boasts a reggae influence on a few songs. It’s one of those albums that grows in stature each time you listen to it, and as debut albums go this is a stunner.
my existence goes unseen (album highlights)
A Social Barrier Thing starts the album off at an exhilarating pace – snotty vocals in the grand tradition of punk married to an equally energetic musical backing. A seemingly out-of-place synthesizer line holds the whole thing together beautifully. A perfect opening track.
Dry Handkerchief – The 1st single off of the album boasts such a mix of sounds you wouldn’t think it’d work – but it does, and masterfully so. Kraftwerk synths gurgle in the mix alongside a reggae beat before exploding in an infectious chorus that will have you singing along in no time. Key lyrics: “A dry handkerchief / To soak up my belief / And put my chances in one basket / I look up in the night / And there to my delight / The walls around me disappear”
The End Will Be Televised – I was drawn to this song because of the title because, well, it’s something I’ve thought about on occasion. A mournful guitar lick inhabits the song along with barroom piano. It recalls a 50’s jam married to 70’s punk (maybe that’s The Clash influence presenting itself). The song’s title is gleefully sung during the chorus – a party for the end of the world.
Blue Lagoon – the album closes with a stunning display of musicianship – hard rock at first before shifting into a bluesy jam type thing. Rollerskating style organ reminds me of the great Desperate Bicycles (yes, that sounds hipster of me to say. Still true though). Sinister vocals before exploding into a sheet of white noise, this is a great way to close out the record. The last verse is sung with just a bit more emotion, making the words cut like a knife (Bryan Adams where are you?) Key lyrics: “I know that the time the time is right / To make my move / I’ve tried so hard before and never got too far / And now am cursed with believing that I can’t win / Take a risk take a chance / Cause you may never know where you will land”
This is one of those records that needs to be in your collection. The band offers up an intoxicating blend of music that really resonates on a visceral level (that means it’s really good). You can check out the bands webpage here or head over to their Facebook page here. The album is available at all the major digital retailers (Amazon, Itunes, emusic).
Verdict: Eclectic Masterpiece
For Fans of: The Clash, Blur, Bob Marley, Joe Strummer, Jellyfish, Eels
- A Social Barrier Thing
- Daze Before the Storm
- Dry Handkerchief
- Another Place
- Canklow Wall
- The Retail Song
- Greasbrough Tree
- The End Will Be Televised
- Love Has Gone With All the Rest
- Reggae Man
- Blue Lagoon