Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not in front of the children, 5 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Rock And Roll Animals (Audio CD)
Suspend, if you will, your disbelief.. and enter Magic Town, where Nick Lowe the badger, Gene Vincent the cat and Jimmy Pursey the fox must do battle with their unrighteous nemesis, the Angel of the North, who swoops down from Tyneside on her iron wings to terrorise Surrey.

It's amazing no-one has come up with this before, really.

Bizarrely, even from material as self-defeatingly ridiculous as this, outsider rock 'n' roll alchemist Luke Haines has somehow contrived to make an engaging, thought-provoking and very listenable album. Even though at first glance this could easily be a children's record, its saving grace is an undertow of darkness that cuts through the fey whimsy of the central concept. The England of Magic Town is a land of unresolved conflicts and unsettled scores. The miners' strike, the civil war, and public executions all bubble up into the lyrics as if from the nation's collective unconscious. These deep folk memories put a darker spin onto our reading of the Jimmy the fox, Gene the cat and Nick the badger, in the same way that the children's games and animal masks in The Wicker Man combine bucolic innocence with disturbing native pagan magick. Perhaps Haines is saying that rock stars (just like 1970s wrestlers) are the new archetypes onto which we project the same deep fears and desires that formed the fabric of England's ancient, pre-Christian religion?

To be honest, it's anyone's guess what Haines is saying. As usual with our Luke, there are very few fully-baked ideas on offer here. Instead, what you get for your tenner is another doggedly off-kilter half-hour of extremely strange but oddly engaging entertainment.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Jul 2014 01:26:59 BDT
Actually, it reminds me of Scarlet's Well 'Strange Letters' LP and everything Bid from the Monochrome Set's done under that whimsical moniker since 1999.
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