Thursday, 31 May 2018

Corduroy - Return Of The Fabric Four

So, the first studio album by Corduroy in eighteen years is finally out, and as promised, here's a track by track report on this much anticipated record. 

The overall approach harks back to the early, classic, largely instrumental, Acid Jazz releases, (think DadManCat and High Havoc); beautifully recorded in Deptford's 2-Bit Studios, the sound is undeniably retro, with throw-back influences and vintage recording techniques, yet refreshingly forward looking thanks to the extravagant yet economic four-piece, drum/bass/guitar & keys, arrangements. Citing punk, easy-listening, TV and movie themes, jazz, funk, mod and British R&B, it's been a long wait and it's been well worth it.

Side 1.

Magic Mountain. The album opener, the best cheeky-kids-television-show-theme-tune that never was, named after a seventies skate-park and already reviewed, with video, here.

The Cleaner. Jazz influenced and super-spy cool, Steve McQueen in Bullitt meets the Pink Panther theme, driven by a sixties bass riff, swinging cymbals and Farfisa melody.

Return Of The Fabric Four. The album title track, Quincy Jones meets Johnny Pate, funky on the feet and cunningly syncopated; a mission statement.

Sambarella. Latin grooves like Sergio Mendez in Basil 66', sweet vocal Ba Ba Ba's in a sweeter plate-reverb Jus. Effortlessly groovy.

Blackmail. Relentless and claustrophobic, punky bass with vibrato guitar line, electric piano designed to cause insomnia and make the guilty pay up. Video here.

Snake Appeal. Beatnick lounge-room beats, Osca Peterson grand piano and Electric Prunes fuzz-tone guitar. Easy like dry Martinis in the sun ... two olives.

Side 2.

Saturday Club. The Who meets The Kinks meets Small Faces; reviewed with video here

Waltz For Christoph. Named after the baddie in Spectre, a jazz waltz for Christoph Waltz;  for head-nodders, chinstrokers and stylish actors when they enter the room whistling.

Sign Of The Cat. A small tune with big ideas, twelve-string melodies, inscrutably funky bass with a supple psychedelic keyboard backbone. 

The Slingbacks Solution. Tribal drumming that kick-starts a funny foot-stomping, hand-bag kitsch, twelve-bar number with a twist... crazy!

Jumping Spider. More bounce than a super-ball; Devo meets Jean-Jacques Burnel, itchy guitar runs and a thousand keyboard trajectories....and then it's gone.

Botany Five-O. Seaside funk for the dapper-clad soul boys, Bill Withers meets Ronnie Laws with fast clavi-chords and jazz groove guitar solo finish.

'Corduroy are: Ben Addison, Scott Addison, Richard Searle, Simon Nelson-Smith.
Produced by Corduroy and Andrew Jones, all songs written by Corduroy, sleeve illustration by Ben Addison, released on Acid Jazz Records. Richard plays Danelectro Bass guitars.'

Oh...and it's on white vinyl.



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