Appreciably, just what we need in our life right now, something skewed, damaged and just a tad barking. Feeding on a vibe that’s more Half Man Half Biscuit than the Fall, Brian Bordello’s latest combo Roi (with John McCarthy and son Dan of Vukovar and beyond) stumble out of the confines of their bijou recording pantry into the cruel critical carelessness of a maudlin musical landscape shackled by a lack of humour and a sonic palette so saccharine, safe and neutral that it’s beyond belief boredom arrives in a shade of magnolia. Debut release then from Roi through Metal Postcards, whose wares I distantly recall, used to at one time in the dark dim past, decorate these pages with fond frequency. Anyhow, this be ‘Dormouse Records’, was their ever such a shop I wonder, kind of ‘Hi-Fidelity’ gone native and found slumbered under the counter brain stoned on some seriously potent vegetation of the hallucinogenic herb variety. Better still, this be all over the shop in the finest tradition of goofed out lo-fi though why I’m minded to drag out Pooh Sticks platters is, just for a moment, something of a puzzle, still, the waywardness, the wonkiness and the general deadpan varieties stirred into this joyfully wired weirdo is comfortably freaking. It’s been an age since I visited Southport, I do recall an antiquarian of some description that was literally stuffed from floor to ceiling with records and dusty books which as a younger self I’d visit on occasion, each and every time spending hours looking for the unnamed doorway behind which a creaking staircase would lead you to this treasure trove of delights. Maybe I imagined it all. I minded to mention this not as some randomly plucked memory out of the blue, but because the flip of this release features a cut by the name ‘straight outta Southport’. We do love these black n’ white (sometimes sordid) kitchen sink dramas from the Shea pen, yearning with a reflective nostalgia all ghosted with a gritty swoon of a lost yesterday, it certainly does it for us not least because its dimming glow comes illuminated in the subtle haze of a Teardrops c. ‘Wilder’ haloing.

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