REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

Stanley Brinks (aka André Herman Düne) teams up with The Wave Pictures

Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

...for another off-the-cuff album."Keep the tape running" seems to be the modus operandi on somewhat underwhelming third from its usually excellent players


Stanley Brinks and The Wave Pictures - Gin (OUT 3RD MARCH)

Taken in the spirit of the endeavour there's elements of
'Gin' that are certainly laudable. Namely; (i)
Spontaneity The album was recorded in one day, live, with no overdubs. No mean feat in itself considering the small fact that
Stanley Brinks had neglected to send
The Wave Pictures any of the songs to learn beforehand. (ii)
Chemistry It's also worth noting the history that the two have together.
'Gin' is their third
'official' album together (not counting their self-released Boss tribute
'Streets of Philadelphia') and they've been song, band and gig-swapping for several years now, so the evident camaraderie and musical knit keep things relaxed and a-rolling in spite of those circumstances. With the above in mind, and caps duly doffed, it's perhaps no great surprise that there is a flip side to all this. Ultimately,
'Gin' (with some exceptions) just feels a bit flippant and throwaway. Undoubtedly the fact that both artists are each themselves relentlessly prolific (
Brinks has over 100 albums to his various names and
The Wave Pictures have released two albums, one a double, in the past year alone) stands somewhat against proceedings. I'm far more familiar with the latter's mostly splendid releases (the skewed
Hefner pop of 2008's
'Instant Coffee Baby' or sparse
Karate guitar noodling of 2011’s
'Beer In The Breakers' in particular) but either way, get the sense that both may be mining a vein of lo-fi
Jonathan Richman to exhaustion and that there's little herein that you haven't heard from them many times before. From the chaotic solo-ing of
'One Minute Of Darkness', to the spoken tongue-in-cheek-isms of
'Spinola Bay', to the lazily familiar chug of
'I Wanted You', it's all just a bit too predictable and as half-baked as its origins would suggest. And, laudable intentions or not, there's simply not quite enough fresh charm to outweigh the overwhelming sense of shambolic slapdash. That said, the gentle bounce of
'Max In The Elevator' is infectiously pretty, the call and response vocals of
'Parking Lots' inherently hummable, and closing track
'Not To Kiss You' is all elegant romance. Most notably there's the dark bass descent and singalong backing vocals of
'No Goodbyes’ which is absolutely bloody brilliant so somewhere in the midst of an over-padded album, a gin-soaked idea that got carried away, there's undoubtedly a much stronger EP.
6/10 Free mp3 download of 'Spinola Bay' here: Stanley Brinks and The Wave Pictures UK and Ireland tour: 1 Ramsgate - Ramsgate Music Hall 2 Brighton - The Prince Albert 3 London - The Old Queens Head 4 Nottingham - The Maze 5 Cardiff - The Moon Club 8 Wakefield - The Hop 9 Newcastle - The Head Of Steam 10 Edinburgh - Henry's Cellar Bar 11 Glasgow - CCA 13 Galway - Roisin Dubh 14 Cork - Triskel Arts Centre 15 Dublin - Pop Inn [formerly Green Street Gallery]