Ginger | 10th October 2013
It’s been bugging me for a while now.
Normally bands record material before giving their album a title. Occasionally the title will arrive before anything is even written yet will still suit the music perfectly. And sometimes a band don’t hear what the album/band sound like until a finished mix arrives. The latter scenario seems to be best fitting for what we are doing with our new album.
Not only did we not know the songs before entering the studio, but we had never even heard the band in its entirety. None of us have. Well, that’s a lie. I have.
I just got the mix for possible album opener Cambria, and on peeling myself off the sofa I’d just been pinned to one thought entered my buzzing head…”Practical Musician” is way too light and jaunty an album title to house a track that sounds like My Bloody Valentine by way of Mutation, as played by the punk hearted offspring of the E Street Band. I listened to the song again, this time imagining that the album retained its original working title of Albion, and the difference in aural perception was startling.
People, we’re gonna have to change the name of the album.
Never could a title be less appropriate than if they’d jumped into a time machine and changed Bridge Over Troubled Water to Never Mind The Bollocks. I swear I don’t do things like to play games with your head, or mess up your new tattoo, but the right thing must be done, regardless of when the ‘right thing’ becomes glaringly apparent.
The new stuff is insane. The most challenging thing I’ve ever recorded. Not simply in extremity (although there are shades of Error 500 in places), nor complexity (although the track Albion alone rivals anything that Vernix could throw up over your shoes). The thing that I can’t wait to see you all respond to is the broad sonic brushstrokes that place highly inappropriate colours next others, designed to signify some kind of ‘last word’ in songwriting bravado and arrangement chops. Unlike 555% this album sees the most dense stoner/shoegaze/90’s indie noise rubbing shoulders with arena rock sized musical interplay and harmony laden melody, the likes of which I have never dare try before. It’s My Bloody Valentine with prog ambition, it’s The Clash after learning to play like Jellyfish. It’s also, I imagine, the last time I will make an album like this, at least for a very long time. What else could I say? How much higher could I build? It’s all here.
So there we have it, Practical Musician has become Albion, because it sounds like a cast iron statement of sonic intent, as opposed to a fanciful collection of choons.
Expect a video update on this very topic, but I will say this. Buy TWO copies of the deluxe special CD because the amazing packaging (not to mention extra songs) will not feature on the retail version, due early(ish) 2014, and believe me this packaging is going to be a thing of awe and wonder. This will become a collectors item every bit as valuable as the 555% triple album, trust me on this. I wouldn’t have you backing a lame donkey, would I?
‘Til next time keep your gunpowder dry and keep watching the sky.