jump to navigation

This Weekend I’ll Mostly be Listening to: Tess Parks and Anton Newcombe August 22, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to..., Uncategorized.
trackback

I’ve always figured Newcombe of Brian Jonestown Massacre – in whatever incarnation – knows pretty much what he’s doing and even when he gets it wrong he usually does it in an interesting way. And in this joint project he doesn’t get it wrong at all.

Tess Parks – supposedly a protege of Alan McGee is someone who to judge from this album entitled ‘I Declare Nothing’ has from a strong and compelling identity all her own. Hers is an idiosyncratic voice that wavers on occasion in outright growls – the Guardian suggested a mixture of Hope Sandoval and Courtney Love. Well, perhaps. And yet I kind of like it. This isn’t Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra – great though that pairing was, or Opal, but a grittier and perhaps more formidable combination.

Standout tracks are Wehmut, which lopes along lazily to a backing of entertainingly space rock squeaks and burbles until what sounds like a flute enters the picture. Cocaine Cat and Peace Defrost power along on subdued riffs somehow balancing narcolepsy with primal rock and roll. Or perhaps that is the balance and always has been, this being music to enjoy as one falls asleep, the hazy strums and woozy reverb the perfect backdrop to allow consciousness to simply drift away. Gone is, ironically perhaps with its choppy stop start guitars, almost jaunty despite the lyric – not least when Newcombe provides backing vocals. Voyage de L’ame certainly benefits from what sounds like a mellotron.

Speaking of which Newcombe is a great man for filling sonic spaces even when his overall approach seems sparse to the point of minimalism. Example A is October 2nd which has a soft one note keyboard/organ sound in the background. Meliorist is perhaps the most conventional track but none the worse for it and Friendlies has a fantastically atonal guitar line that winds through its length.

For the most part it works, though if there’s a criticism it is that the tracks tend to the mid-paced. It would be interesting to see them genuinely let rip. But there’s more than enough going on to ensure that the album holds the attention. it’s the sort of album, particularly a guitar/vocal album, that yet again proves that the form isn’t played out – at least not by those who can dig deep into it, and Parks and Newcombe can and do.

I hope we hear more from this quarter.

Friendlies

Gone

Wehmut (demo)

Melorist

The Meliorist

Comments»

No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: