We’ve had a spate of comical albums coming in for review, what with Death of Guitar Pop, Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer and now this, which is by far the darkest, consequently most poignant. Songwriter and raconteur Scott Lavene returns this Friday (17th September) with Milk City Sweethearts, an album of new material…..
There’s intelligent and thought-provoking arch-beat poetry chatted here, an amphetamine-induced self-evaluation of an ordinary Essex boy, delivered passionately with a witty edge you cannot ignore. Something of an oddity at times, random prose seemingly slotted erratically fall into place with a running theme of this hopeless romantic, as the album progresses.
Behind a variation of backbeats, often being post-punk, as is Scott’s roots, yet fluctuating through new romantic electronica and eighties mod revival, are honest and blunt chronicles of love, loss, coming of age, in effect making for a memorable kind of album, border-crossing Ian Dury with Sleaford Mods; a Mike Skinner of The Streets in the Bowie or Jam era, or a psychedelic Gecko.
Humbly wry, the observations of his imprudent past come back to haunt him, as he retells heartfelt autobiography. The Ballad of Lynsey being the particularly touching example, telling of a potential everlasting love, but lasting only year due to differences, with the revealing chorus, “I choose amphetamines over you.”
If I’ve made this sound despondent and somewhat depressing, while yeah there is that, Scott’s witty charisma teeters atop at even the gloomiest synopsises with clever wordplay and metaphors. And besides, not every track is quite so melancholic. In fact, it begins very much with the aforementioned mod revival style. Upbeat opening tune, Nigel, is especially comical, expressing the strangeness of individual’s choice of “kicks.” Likewise, The First-Time reels off an amusing list of first experiences with the annotation, “one day there’ll be a last.” It’s all very Essex lad Talking Heads, Phil Daniels chatting on Blur’s Parklife, etc.
Art-pop carries over when the mod revival moves over for a new wave electronica feel as the album progresses, by the third tune, The Earth Don’t Spin, it’s very much more Stephan Tintin Duffy than Weller. For all the credentials and comparisons mentioned, there’s no cliché, everything here is uniquely composed and written originally, and Milk City Sweethearts isa listener, not the sort of long-player you can pause and pick up again, you’ll be impelled to digest it one sitting.
A master storyteller astutely aware of when and how to evoke the correct emotions, and find unusual thoughts to everyday scenarios. The farewell to deceased finale, Say Hello to Zeus, is as Bowie, simply inimitable and inducing. Whereas halfway through gives us the laugh-out-loud Walk Away is Essex humour at its very best.
Closest you’ll get to see him to here is Bath’s Komedia on the 12th December, for now this masterful album, out via Nothing Fancy Records, is interesting, to say the least, an essential item for enthusiasts of the quirky and unusual, making the world seem that much smaller, and amusing, for lonely hearts.
I’m quite happy, thank you, but loved it nonetheless, cos it ain’t always been that way. And that’s it, right there, I figure it’s not only my association Scott is from my motherland, but there’s something I think anyone with a heart will identify with here, and that’s something really rather special.
A month after Wiltshire Council’s Climate Strategy was criticised by the Wiltshire Climate Alliance for lacking “ambition and commitment to achieving its goal of seeking … Continue reading “Does Wiltshire Council’s Climate Strategy Lack Ambition and Commitment?”
Entertainment events in the county blossoming out of lockdown came to a pinnacle this weekend. We were spoiled for choice, and without cloning technology the … Continue reading “Female of the Species Blow the Roof of The Assembly Hall, for Carmela”
Fantastic and spooky image of St Johns, Devizes, used with permission from Simon Folkard Photography I say everyone, but it’s the inbetweenies always at a … Continue reading “Boo! Spooky Halloween Happenings for Everyone!”
Closing date for Entries is Tuesday 12th October, for The Devizes Eisteddfod, a five-day competitive festival of music, drama, speech, dance, writing, art and photography … Continue reading “The Devizes Eisteddfod for November; Closing date for Entries is Tuesday”
Well, what can I say? They might lose a couple of brownie points for the singer continuously referring to me as “Barry,” but Somerset-Hampshire psych-folk … Continue reading “Barry Reviews Strange Folk at The Southgate!”
Fooled by my own fool proof system must make me more of a fool than I give myself credit for. It’s an elderly memory malfunction … Continue reading “Nought to 60 with the Near Jazz Experience”
And there we have it, our competition to win two tickets to Gary Delaney at the Corn Exchange has come to closing date for entries; … Continue reading “And the Winner of our Gary Delaney Competition is….”
23 years of wrestling, is a lot of wrestling, I’ve got to wonder if I’d manage 23 seconds in the ring. Because if you know … Continue reading “CSF Professional Wrestling celebrate 23 years of live events as the Corn Exchange”