The Nightingales are back with yet another corker of an album that sounds just like a classic and undated version of the Nightingales with all 4 members singing on the album and with Robert Lloyd and Fliss Kitson being the two lead vocalists being the main twist compared to older classic Nightingales albums.
When I first heard Thicko Rides again in early March it already seemed a perfect tune for our times, but with the passing weeks it has only become more poignant in it's urgent onrush of noisy dystopian blues and the twin vocals between Fliss and Robert Lloyd a great shot in the arm against the Thicko's running the show.
The Top Shelf is a cool and not too obtuse tribute to the days when many of us strained to reach or see the magazines on the top shelf and the dodgy content they contained, this sounds like classic Nightingales and again has shared vocals.
Neverender is a modern fairy tale come folk story set to some carefully constructed musical mayhem of the sort of off centre interplay and action the Nightingales have always mastered in.
Wicked Winter is a darker and danker sound like it is midwinter and they haven't seen daylight in well days. It has some odd shifts in the way I expect Nightingales songs to have odd shifts and as ever to truly understand the lyrics will take a good few listens.
Then I Felt is unsettling and worrying in places and Fliss' opening vocals sound a lot like Lene Lovich in full scream mode as we wait for that rain.
The End Began Somewhere sounds almost like they have re-worked a 60's beat tune into an off the wall indie weird out and well it works and the gang chorus is an interesting touch as are lots of the other noises that come in and out sounds great in surround sound 5.1. speakers.
Devil's Due is one of those titles that would be pretty cool normally, but in these times it is almost like it's asking who is getting the devils due or the virus, it doesn't actually ask that but well this could easily soundtrack those sort of awkward questions and it does sound good and awkward.
Everything, Everywhere, All Of the Time sounds like an early 80's synth indie pop gone awry and in all the right way this in places feels a bit No Wave and the dual vocals is like a modern update of Lady Godiva's Operation a very cool song.
The Other Side is a wonderful re-working of a T-Rex riff and song into a darkly twisted stomp of a song that lets us all work out what songs they have cut and pasted the lyrics from and I can spot about 10 or so obviously including Spacemen 3's Take Me To The Other Side.
On The Make doesn't feature any Jakes but is in similar territory in this tale of trying to get what you want.
Simple Soul is musically anything but simple with some stunning drumming punctuating everything else that's going on as Fliss and Robert duel rather than duet on the vocals.
The Album closes with The Desperate Quartet that may be made up of Boris, Gove, Hancock and Cummings but is obviously not that obvious it feels like a slow march into the abyss which in many ways makes it perfect for how 2020 feels and well this is an album that will reward repeated listening.
Find out more at https://thenightingales.org.uk/ https://uknightingales.bandcamp.com/album/four-against-fate