No Parlez

What does it sound like?:

It’s not fair to blame Pino Palladino for all the excesses of the 1980s. He probably wasn’t the first to roll up his jacket sleeves, or wear a matador hat on stage, or think that drums should go ‘ptchoo’ instead of ‘thwack’. But he’s the reason why this bargain-bin classic remains firmly rooted in that cursed decade, along with trimphones, the C5, effective labour representation and colonial expansionism.

Pino’s fretless and flanged bass scribbles through Love of The Common People like a crayon across the face of the Mona Lisa. It wobbles like a weeble on a see-saw. It staggers like a drunk in a bouncy kebab shop. It writhes like an inflatable wraith outside a secondhand car dealer. On the originals of the soul classics that anchor No Parlez, the rhythm sections are nailed down to the groove. They play, they don’t spray. Pino is not so much in the pocket as all over the front of your trousers, like splashback piss from a tin urinal.

Young Paul does his best to find space between the gurgles. He’s also up against the Fabulous Wealthy Tarts, whose constant chatter frustrates his attempts to express … Continue reading No Parlez