sabato 23 maggio 2009

Animals That Swim "Workshy"

Un gruppo favoloso. Intelligente, colto, raffinato. Bravissimi. E non scherzo. A cominciare dai testi, sempre pieni di riferimenti, citazioni, per passare alla musica, così varia e a 360° che trasporta in un caleidoscopio di suoni, emozioni, immagini. Troverete melodie incantevoli in questo disco, arrangiamenti prezioni che sanno conquistare, ballate ma anche pezzi che alzano il battito del piede e del cuore...erano davvero favolosi. Se c'è un gruppo che non merita la dimenticanza, beh, lo abbiamo trovato! (1994 Elemental)
Sotto un pò di cose trovate su internet sul gruppo...

"An eccentric, hyper-literate cross between Scott Walker, Tom Waits, the Teardrop Explodes, and Ride, Animals That Swim were slightly too weird for mass consumption, but their oddball, half-beatnik/half-psychedelic pop was a refreshing response to the early days of Brit-pop."

"A raggedy, throwback indie shambles in the shiny dawn of Britpop, Animals That Swim were the wrong band at the wrong time; they even had a heartbreaking song about a bitter, Elvis-era rock failure (Roy) that implied they had already foreseen and embraced their fate. Nothing else about this Outer London 5-piece suggested pretensions or expectations, certainly not the shruggy strums and melancholy trumpets of Workshy, while drummer/writer Hank Starrs’ half-spoken shaggy-dog songs would divine the magical in the everyday – turning streetside car windshield debris into the pieces of a chandelier – only to realise it wasn’t magical at all, just the same old shit, usually once the booze wore off (typical anticlimax: “well she died, of course”). Starrs’ actorly conviction makes every damn second believable and there are moments – the materialisation of alkies’ messiah King Beer in the song of that name or the technicolour chorus of Madame Yevonde – when melody bursts through the half-drawn curtains of Starrs’ world and the real and unreal dance with abandon. Starrs (real surname: Barker) now makes films, including a 2006 doc about Third Man director Carol Reed – fitting work for a born storyteller – but he’s not forgotten. Last year, Art Brut had him lay down a vintage monologue on their 2007 single, Direct Hit. (Danny Eccleston on"

"The album "Workshy" did not disappoint. With an effective mixture of slice-of-life ("Smooth Steps") and pure fantasy ("St Francis"), light ("Vic") and dark ("Susie's Friends"), "Workshy" showed the group's abilities to the full. The band's ability to make something wonderful out of the minutiae of everyday life was showcased on "Smooth Steps" (literally a song about some smooth steps) and "Silent Film", while one of the band's (well, probably Hank's actually) favourite tricks - a deliberate lyrical anticlimax that just leaves characters going about their daily business - was used to great effect in "How To Make A Chandelier" (narrator thinks of making a chandelier from broken glass, but buys some oranges instead - hardly the stuff of epics, is it?) and "Barney". A new, improved version of "King Beer" was included alongside old favourites "Roy" and "Madame Yevonde". The synth-and-trumpet instrumental interludes ("Action at Tesco's" and "Chip Paper Dreams") were strictly throwaway, but as they were only 23 seconds apiece it didn't matter. The album finished with a setting of Charles Bukowski's poem "Sway With Me", the sleeve featured Hank adorned with flowers in imitation of Madame Yevonde's goddesses, the lyrics were hand-written and illustrated with little drawings, and as usual the press loved it (one critic called Hank a "genius poet", an epithet he particularly enjoyed) and the public ignored it. ("

- How to Make a Chandelier
- Smooth Steps
- Roy
- Pink Carnations
- St. Francis
- Action at Tescos
- King Beer
- Barney
- Susies's Friends
- Madame Yevonde
- Vic
- Silent Film
- Sway With Me


2 commenti:

  1. Capolavoro assoluto degli anni '90! Mi strussi per questa manciata di perle sonore di inusitata bellezza!

  2. Great post and an album that I've recently rediscovered since picking up the indie-classic Madame Yevonde single and playing it over and over again.