Pelican Man – Bulls Descending
We like troublemakers on our records. We’re not convinced we could be best mates, mind you, but folks like the ones that play in Pelican Man make great records and sound like it would be a riot to hear stories of how record executives must have tried to reach them.
Bulls Descending is, in many ways, a work of cut-ups, like William S. Burroughs wildly tearing up and rearranging his prose. Unlike the author of Naked Lunch or some of the more eccentric artists that they cite as influences, Pelican Man knows when to return to a serene pop framework.
The track begins with a recording straight out of a Mexican fiesta, moody guitar work a la an Ennio Morricone soundtrack and even some reverb-drenched riffs not unlike the work of Hank Marvin. However, a pleasant, conservative vocal performance helps glue everything together here. True eccentrics know when to shock and when to please.
The Kindest People – Ride Passenger
History is littered with false Russian monarchs staking their claim to the throne and claiming some unfortunate accident as the cause of their current, much less glamorous, circumstances.
Similarly, pop-music history is full of short-lived conspiracy theories about bands supposed to be the Beatles in drag. The gist was always that the Fab Four had simply wanted to abandon fame and continue to keep playing and, so, had simply changed their name to Badfinger, Klaatu, erm… Fool’s Garden.
The fact is that we’re starved for pretty melodies and great arrangements. The Kindest People fill that faux-Beatle void for me with their gorgeous, lo-fi Ride Passenger. It’s the kind of vocal melody that could end up haunting the band. The pinnacle of a pop group, the start of something great, or the start of a new Beatles in drag myth?