Gary Reynolds and the Brides of Obscurity - Santiago's Vest
I don't know much about this singer and band.
Its a quirky mixture of sonically interesting experimentation and big big choruses. Its mainly guitar and percussion driven but brings in plenty of organ and some Cello to keep things off the beaten track.
'Capital state' is a slightly paranoid ball of tension, led along nicely by solo piano, haunting vocals and organ. 'Everybody's somewhere' brings in some gorgeous Beach Boy style harmonies that will definitely having you singing along. The pumping percussion and slightly retro sound reminds me somewhat of Supergrass.
'Rolling over' drags us from this reverie into an electric organ spiced three and a half minutes of building repetitive tension. More chiming choruses and tinkling organ ring in the end of side one on 'Wall eyed girl'.
Flip it over and we start off with another jolly singalong, Mrs Lowe. I'm not sure what this is reminding me of but it sounds very familiar and I can't stop stomping my foot and shaking my body. This is in a good way :) Some lovely piano on this as well. 'Where do we go from here' sounds like a continuation.
We seem to delve into heavy metal territory on 'You are what you see'. A strong guitar riff is sometimes interrupted by a mellower sound, then concentrating on Gary's vocals before kicking in again.A bit of a mosher one this. Would go down great in the gigs.
'Who do you love' is almost Japan like in its spartan approach. But then it kicks in. 'Wake up sugar' is a lovely cello led ballad to end the album.
Gary's vocals are quite raspish which are sometimes effective and sometimes annoying. They are probably exaggerated by the actual recording which is quite harsh. Presumably digital and possibly compressed.
Musically its a very interesting album. There are a wide variety of styles and/or influences. Its cinematic at times, straight ahead rock at others. Possibly the closest match is Supergrass with the same shared love of sixties influences and harmonies. And organ! There are musical twists and inflexions all over which keep the listener interested.
Its a decent pressing on standardweight vinyl. Interesting picture sleeve but the record is housed ina normal white paper sleeve. Its a small label and I guess they need to keep costs down. As mentioned above the recording or mastering is quite harsh and would actually stop me from listening repeatedly. Perhaps for their next release they should pay more attention here.