What does it sound like?:
Fans of power pop should be acquainted with the music of Thomas Walsh, either as the leader of Pugwash or as half of the cricket-themed Duckworth Lewis method with Neil Hannon. I came to Thomas’ music via my love of Jason Falkner’s work, a mercurial muti-instrumentalist and producer, who has made some astonishing albums of his own, and guested on two Pugwash albums in the noughties.
Having reluctantly split the touring version of the band, Walsh has effectively gone solo, but using Falkner as his right hand man, recording in JF’s LA studio and using Kickstarter to fund their efforts.
Tunewise, it’s a concise bundle of ten songs ranging from sun-kissed pop (The Perfect Summer), via angular XTCish new wave (Why Do I) and woozy psychedelia (Autarch). There are a couple that could come from the pen of Falkner himself, but aren’t (Without You, Easier Done Than Said). The there are the slowies, which Walsh is the master of: Such a Shame is one of his very best, and very much my current ‘jam’. Sonically, it’s marmite – a departure from previous recordings and very much a Falkner sound – everything is thick and compressed, especially the drums, which can be samey to some ears. For those that know and love these two artists, it’s everything you’d hope for. Unfortunately for them, there aren’t enough uberfans – hence the Kickstarter account.
What does it all *mean*?
I seem to be a fan of niche artists – Michael Penn, Farrah, David Mead or the Wondermints – who make effervescent guitar pop with more hooks than a fisherman’s hat. This record fits into my tastes perfectly, and won’t stop me scratching my head and wondering at the comparative success of lesser talents when these songwriting giants struggle. It just ain’t fair.
Goes well with…
A big smile on the face.
Might suit people who like…
ELO, The Move, Jason Falkner, XTC and all good power pop.