the bordellos

Some might call it laziness, we prefer to call it ‘look we’ve been here before and if it our ears said it was a good un then that’s fine by us’. Prompted by a lengthy message from mischief maker Brian of the Bordellos, we’ve managed to rummage through the archives to unearth variously cobbled together critical prose, without punctuation mind, of reviews related to the Bordellos third full length ‘debt sounds’. Now why would you want to do that I hear you enthusiastically enquiring from the back. Simple really, released way back in that golden year of 2009, the album marks something of a turning point in both style and song craft, arguably the bands finest moment, it’s never been available on their band camp site and apart from a very limited cd-r pressing back in the day, has till now, largely remained forgotten. However this being the eve of Record Store Day,  cue coughs, grumbles and some shaking of disappointed heads and what with the impish wag Brian being a firm champion on this flag waving independent store equivalent of Christmas days and birthdays rolled into one – not, has decided to release to release a sampler set / EP featuring cuts pulled from the album – a kind of un-celebration of Record Store Day with a promise that the actual album, in full, will get a much deserved release later in the year from the Small Bear label. Anyhow the all-important links are here

like we said though, we went on a scavenger hunt to see if we still had old reviews of the album and ended up, not with one, nor two, but three related mentions. Here you’ll find reviews of ‘debt sounds’ in addition to a curio entitled ‘the Friday night sessions’, some references made to an ultra-limited outing going by the name ‘nobody wants to shag the Bordellos’, a pre-release ‘Debt Sounds’ teaser set and who remember the short lived huckleberry in the kingdom – bet even the band forgot that one. Anyway enough waffling….here’s those mentions, from various Singled Out missives – notably 199, 200 and 241  all from 2009…….


‘ – I think we might be right in saying that this is a newly formed imprint (in fact so new that the colours on the MS page are still wet) headed up by the Bordellos – a band hailing from the heady rock ‘n’ roll lights of er – St Helens a place to which I’d sometimes frequent on Saturday afternoons with a former and much missed missus and whereupon to whose much annoyance I’d spend valuable shopping time and monetary resources buying various pop platters from a stand in the local market. Anyway enough of the idle reminisces, as said we think this is headed up by the Bordellos – who I should add here and now are much admired round these parts though we do feel we always let them down by forgetting to either review records or check out tracks they’ve posted – all this lads will be remedied in the all singing all dancing loads of words, reviews and the usual waffling bumper extravaganza type celebratory missive number 200 (more details at the foot of this missive – if we are arsed and indeed remember). Shall we start again. Okay new label – first release will be the (by our reckoning) third full length from the Bordellos entitled ’debt sounds’ which should be hitting the racks late spring. One track posted on the player by way of a little teaser called ’I may be reborn’ – a lo-fi cutie subtly bathed in the ever so drifting essences of the Velvets though strangely sounding like ’gigglegoo’ era Freed Unit rewiring a slightly bruised and shy eyed late 60’s Stones – just listen and see if I’m not wrong. More from the Bordellos as said in the next missive dispatch.’


‘ – think I’m right in saying that we mentioned the newly conceived Welshcakes imprint via missive 199 when we checked out the Bordellos cut ‘I may be reborn’. indeed the label is run by those Bordellos types and is based in the little known Mecca of all things psychedelic – St Helens (kids you are just reading the wrong rock music history books, its all lies I tell you). If not its first release then certainly one of the first things that will appear on Welsh Cakes will be the third full length from the Bordellos which in the current climate of comedic childlike like fiscal budgets and ship sinking financial turmoil is topically titled ‘debt sounds’ a suitably skewiff play no doubt on the Beach Boys immortal ‘pet sounds’ and as was Wilson and Co’s opus awash in the kind of lush tonalities that were a fanfare of those optimistic free spirited and economic growth inspired days so to the Bordellos set mirrors the times-a-changing and is suitably treated with the kind of minimalist lo-fi austerity of a ration book. Including the aforementioned ’I may be reborn’ five specially selected prime slices are gathered from that forthcoming set on this their MS player. As previously noted there’s more than a whiff of Freed Unit’s equally lo-fi laden ’gigglegoo’ set from a few years back – especially on ‘I dream of Jimmy’, that same kind of punched and bent out of shape distant and dusty soft psych application though scratch a little deeper and you’ll find a veritable mixed grill of reference points where the palette touches base to varying degrees with the likes of Eugene Chadbourne and Jad Fair and the Stones whose influence is notable on the wasted and trip wired ’rolf harris’ which unless our ears are seriously deceiving us sounds like its recently awoken from the result of a Woodstock frequented spiked drug induced coma some 40 years on. Can’t wait for the album and I suspect you can’t either.’


‘The Bordellos

Debt sounds – the Friday night sessions

Welsh cake


Think I’m right in saying that this mighty fine slab of wasted out there creaking psyche blues minimalism is the first outing for the newly fashioned Welshcake imprint which is basically an outlet set up by St Helens finest psychedelic talismen in order to turn you on to some of the finer and more head expanding sounds currently to be found across the globe.

We here at the mop top mopping parlour of dayglo ditties are a tad fond of the Bordellos. These last few months our radar has been summarily tweaked and stirred into life by the distant buzz of happenings emanating from the Bordellos studio bunker wherein it seems a hive of activity has been set into motion, such activity has promised the arrival of two albums at an eclectic turntable near you during the course of the next few months kick started in earnest by a release schedule that saw the recent unearthing of a stash of demo tapes packed with rare thought lost vintage recordings by the band which hitherto found themselves gathered together and pressed up as the ’nobody wants to shag the bordellos’ CD (limited to just 4 copies – three of which we’re offered up as competition prizes). In addition to that armed with a four track and a week spare while spouses visited various in laws both Brian and Dan from the band managed to nail an albums worth of material under the collective guise as Huckleberry in the Kingdom of the Broken Hearted – a sample of whose sounds you can hear by redirecting various pointy mouse like devices in the general direction of

And so to ‘debt sounds’ – laid down over 10 consecutive Friday nights last summer – hence the subtitled ‘the Friday night sessions’ and recorded on a 4 track cassette with the promise of no harmful overdubs having been used in the recording process, this set – as with the aforementioned ’nobody’ rarity finds the Bordellos stripped back to the core, raw and dishevelled yet sounding strangely primitive and dare we say soulfully better for the experience. ‘debt sounds’ is a bit of a gem – collecting together 17 treats its title perhaps an obvious play on the Beach Boys ’pet sounds’ is unlike Wilson and Co’s well weathered lushly productive classic of yesteryear something a little more Spartan in design and texture. Right from the unique hand drawn labels – each one individual – this album wreaks lovingly of a DIY ethos, the sounds drilled with lo-fi frailness at times come across with the air of lost swamp dragged nuggets that have been left on a window ledge exposed to the elements and scratched by a decades old skin of dust.

Primarily ‘debt sounds’ finds its comparable roots in the early work of Daniel Johnston and the Palace Brothers though happily removed of the depression and in its place filleted by a sense of unhinged verve, it makes for a compulsive blend of battered and bruised road blues montages (‘Spirograph’ being the prime example with its Richman imprints and bliss fuelled and lilting harmonica breezes); Dylan-esque motifs as on the lazy eyed homeliness of er- ‘homeless bound’; flowery kaleidoscopic bubblegum (with ‘you better run’ proving to be a worthwhile listening spectacle for admirers of Freed Unit’s ‘gigglegoo’ set); darkly brooding and deeply set frazzled shanty opines (as on the off balanced and off kilter dissipating austere tinged opener ’fading honey’ and its sibling ’honey pie’ which neatly act as the sets book-ends – the latter a seriously charred slab of Jad Fair meets Eugene Chadbourne dizziness) and some Elephant 6 quirkiness via ’???’.

Trawl a little further for the simply smoked and chilled distressed freak beat mirages of the subtly sultry and seriously shit faced wasted psych drifts found on the sets best moment by far ’Rolf Harris’ – hell one listen of this and you’ll feel as though you’ve been toking on something mildly illegal – all frazzled and out of it atmospheric riff fragments and prowling Jagger-esque vocals – not so sure about dear old Rolf being offered up as a sexual hero though – still each to their own. Elsewhere ‘Crocodiles’ era Bunnymen are recalled on ‘Mersey beat memories’ albeit as though recalibrated by Ellery Bop, then there’s the fractured John Cooper Clarke meets Richard Hell wiring that scars ‘she’s an art form’, some woody fog bound mountain folk haziness looming on the decidedly unsettling waywardness of the lysergic wraps that freewheel throughout ‘sealhead’ while lets be honest no Bordellos release would be complete without the appearance of the odd psych soaked sortie here happily provided by the GBV / Southall Riot inspired ‘Captain Coma’ and ‘Fine’ not to mention the tripped out and warped 60’s Arabesque mantras of ‘she in the sun’. Think that pretty much covers it – any questions at the back.

There’s an overtly humorous and brutally honest track by track account by Brian Bordello over at while I should tell you that this little beauty is currently retailing for a paltry 4 pounds – the words ‘stare‘ ‘gift horse’ and ’face’ readily come to mind.

Key tracks –

Rolf harris

Captain coma


I dream of jimmy Campbell   


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