Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Review: The Bevis Frond

The Bevis Frond – The Leaving Of London (Woronzow)
Eight years since their last LP, the rather fine “Hit Squad”, we all assumed Nick Saloman and his band had retired from recording. After all, this was a group who’d released 22 albums in the previous 18 years – gaps between albums were usually a maximum of two years. It took reports of sporadic live outings to keep the faithful hopeful, and now, at long last, a new studio album has appeared.

The title helps explain the delay, relocation from London to Hastings, probably by handcart, had put music on the back burner for a while, but on “The Leaving Of London” they sound suitably revitalized. The album begins with “Johnny Kwango” a grandiose guitar rocker with stylistic nods to late ‘80s Neil Young. “Speedboat” begins slow and easy, but soon hits a strident tempo, and a Wah-Wah pedal takes a savage stomping. The title track slows things down with its unhurried piano and Saloman on fine vocal form. 18 tracks in all, and well over an hour of music, I think it’s safe to say they’re well and truly back.
Rob F.

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