bob constant and the goodbye horses

To say we are a little surprised that this managed to survive its journey from the label to here is an understatement. The record arrived brought along by a hapless postman who left it at a neighbours without bothering to tell us it had been delivered there (that’s what the red cards are for dick brain). The neighbours then proceeded to forget they had it and since we didn’t knock for it, because we didn’t know to, they kept hold of it for a few days and after several attempts (I guess – I say I guess giving them the benefit of the doubt) at calling, then saw fit to have our wheely bin prop it up one late night, wherein the heavens opened up and soaked it. Seriously words fail me – I’m surrounded by ‘stoopid’ people. But there’s more. Inside the package sat a 10 inch record, alas cracked – and unplayable, the packaging absolutely knackered as though the result of being used as a ball in a game of throw catch throw at the sorting depot. Good job there was a CD included of all the records tracks. So with the grumbling done this is Bob Constant and the goodbye horses – out via vacilando 68 recordings (of course a label much loved around here). Alas no information on Bob and his cohorts but safe to say that the parting track on this 4 track lovely ’hand to hold’ had us frantically spending the best part of an hour trying to locate our copy of thinking fellers union local 282’s debuting full length from many years ago without much success, and I hardly think that turning up various copies of truman’s water wax was going to help matters. The references to thinking fellers might be off the mark but they were the first band that dared disturb the grey matter upon hearing these four cuts first time of asking. That said if ever you were in the market for some soulful math rock then Bob Constant and Co are your first port of call for ’hand to hold’ is a deliciously distracting stew of intricately weaved Beefheartian bluesy funkiness punctuated with moments of acute volatility and here blessed as though smoothly fused with a youthful Pere Ubu. In fact in truth this has Pere Ubu references all over it like a rash though admittedly opening salvo ’After’ is possessed of a dirtily raw and ravaged Hendrix tracing replete with some nifty corkscrewing and angular blues riffola before that is seeing fit to blossom into some hulking anthem like charge of cavalry towards its finale. Harrowing and totally smoked out ’the goodbye lies bleedings’ teeters between cacophonic collapse and frayed around the edges down at the heel swamp dragged soul seduction while ’laughter track’ perhaps the most well adjusted and accessible thing here opines disconsolately to a demurring rippling to fractured San Lorenzo styled rupturing here as though imagined with Ubu main man David Thomas crooning from the front. Does it for us.

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