The Cravats are back with the band's latest album since they came back and it's every bit as good as Dustbin Of Sound the bands last album was, a great sonic stew seemingly both current and looking back to the "glory days" of the 70's-90's and the bands post punk heritage. I wonder if the guy who sat on stage reading a book the last time I saw them sat in the studio throughout the recording of this album and if so what book was he reading.
From the opening blast of Svor Naan's saxophone that leads us into Goody Goody Gum Drops it's clear this is going to be Classic The Cravats and not a cover of the old song by The Goodies, as expected the lyrics are good and obtuse and commenting on the state of bemusement we currently live in with a good stop start structure to get us going.
Shy sounds like shards of guitar noise are trying to protect you from who knows what as the Sax blasts at you and The Shend leads you into his world and well you may find it uncomfortable and make you want to shrink into the background which is something this song never does as it looks you in the eye and blasts away like the bastard offspring of Glenn Branca and James Chance which is probably why it was put out as a single last year.
Same Day is more led by Joe 91's bass line drawing us into the musical maelstrom and rollercoaster of emotions as to what may have happened on the Same Day.
Now The Magic Has Gone is a waltzlike ballad featuring Jello Biafra as extra vocalist and somehow this reminds me of Tumour Circus crossed with Nervous Cabaret while being trapped in the back room of a very scary club way back when as the odd imagery in the lyrics conjure up all sorts of night mare scenarios.
Good For You is post loungecore aural nightmare scape that's somewhere in the gap between Gallon Drunk and Blurt and is the soundtrack to a very scary ghost train into the heart of the bands own dystopian funfair the Chessington World Of Dementia as if they are being dragged along the road and dumped outside The Shy Horse pub across the road.
Oh How We Laughed sounds nothing like you might imagine from the title and has some deep dark sounds and vocals from the bowels of who knows where to make sure you stay afraid rather than on the ground chuckling.
There Is No God starts out like they are re-working something by Queens Of The Stone Age before splintering off at a tangent or two to make a rather diverting anti-anthem to atheism with some great sparse drumming from Rampton Garstang that punctuates things nicely.
March Of The Business Acumen sets its sights on the apostles of the disaster capitalism that seems to rule over us, over an urgent pulsating backing and leaving us in no doubt of how much they love the state of things today.
Trees & Birds & Flowers & Sky may have the hippy dippy lyrics suggested by the title, but the music is far more brutal and The Shend's delivery really makes it clear how worried they are by the current state of the planets Flora and Fauna.
Jam Rabbits almost feels like it should soundtrack a chase scene on a super dark cop show but of course it's far too heavy for that and really doesn't sound like cruising music as it's far to bruising for that no matter how familiar the tune Svor Naan is playing on his sax.
Morris Marina for me just makes me think of driving down the M11 motorway in my friends souped up Morris Marina that he's just bought but didn't have a license to drive and he wanted to see how fast it went, when we hit 140mph and could see the fuel gauge moving we decided we should slow down thankfully we weren't on the inside as suggested on the lyrics to this, but it does sort of have the right pace to it for that sort of a race down the motorway that I would have made as a young driver in the days before speed cameras and CCTV everywhere and the stabs at the end feels almost as crushing as we were crushed when someone overtook us even at those speeds.
The album closes with Hoorahland and the title track would make for a very odd advert for a very odd day out at Hoorahland and I'm sure it will sound great when played in seaside towns and I hope to hear them play it at The Rebellion Festival in August and I'm sure we will all know what they mean by the end of it.
Find out more at www.thecravats.com www.overgroundrecords.co.uk