Despite the fact that this darkly clever Brit pop alt-rock trio has spawned 18 (eighteen) brilliant albums since their inception in 1998, you may have only vaguely or never even heard of them. (In that case, you’re in for something). Fuck fate, ignorance or whatever else may have played a role in this, it didn’t prevent the guys from reaching the undisputed status of a cult rock’n’roll band.
Started in 1998 by Dave Tattersall (monster guitar, vocals), Franic Rozycki (dirty bass) and Johnny Helms (diaphanous drums), The Guardian has described their work as «dreamlike, bluesy and unique» and «charming, witty pop songs, shot through with Johnathan Richman gawky glee and Suede’s doomed provincial romanticism … Tattersall’s has Morrissey’s knack of marrying the ridiculous and the sublime.» Acceptable as general wisdom, it doesn’t do quite enough justice to what’s up on their incisive yet warm and merry current release, the LP “Look Inside Your Heart” from 2018, the second (!) album the band released that year, after the jazzy «Brushes With Happiness». Their latest is an intimate and relaxed collection of songs that pulsate with a vibrancy indigenous to this trio, peppered with imperfectly perfect solos, raucous back-up vocals, and eruptions of blinding power. Boogying «Dodge City Blues» will leave you howling at the moon and lyrics like «Everything rattles like maracas full of teeth» can rattle your brain. The work delivers what rightly can be expected from an irascible rock’n’roll band in all its glorious mayhem. Dave Tattersall: «Looking Inside Your Heart is intended as a rallying cry in the war against the machines; a machine could have never made music as joyful, happy, poetic, broken and rambunctious as this. Look Inside Your Heart is a bullet in the face of all pop-poseurs and robot wannabee’s, a die-hard continuation of the vulnerable rebel tradition of rock and roll music; a vibrant work of outsider art and a masterpiece of electric folk.»
The Wave Pictures, live at El Lokal. Recognize a cult band when you hear one.