London trio The Wave Pictures (comprising Dave Tattersall, Franic Rozycki and Jonny Helm) belong in the field of artists who do their own eccentric thing, completely unencumbered by fashion trends or hype. I’m thinking of Felt; Wild Billy Childish and his many projects, XTC, The Young Knives, and anything Davey Henderson dreams up.Perversely, this makes them really cool.
Front-man Tattersall has a wonderfully arch way of singing, and his lyrics are equal to the delivery- warm, humorous and knowing, with the right injection of spite as and when required.What else can you expect from the band who called an album A Season in Hull?! For this particular album, the blues, country and surf guitar rubs up nicely with their British cynicism.
Panama Hat and Now I Want to Hoover my Brain Clean are typically wry Wave Pictures songs, and yet this nod to Americana (more explicit here than on some punkier past offerings)suits them.They wear it well. Bamboo Diner Rag, a gorgeous instrumental, even features a mandolin and is redolent of the days of Django Reinhardt, with chirruping crickets and white picket fences.
The organ-soaked Hot Little Hand is as close as they have ever been to a ballad. ‘I will fill up my lungs with you and float’, Tattersall croons.It’s so lovely.This is countered by a protest song against gentrification, Pool Hall, which initially seem like a raucous,singalong number, but one which seethingly rails against their local pool hall being turned into flats, and feeling impotent in the face of such a decision. Long may they defy the mainstream.
Released on November 11th on Moshi Moshi