Press releases are rubbish! The band who wrote the music don’t write them, so some oik who didn’t write the music is wheeled-in and then, with a Thesaurus propped open on their lap, they attempt to describe sounds with words.
As I said, rubbish! So I asked co-founder and frontman of The Cravats, The Shend, to describe “Dustbin of Sound”, their first new LP in 35 years.
"As always, it’s unique," he said enigmatically.
The Thesaurus gave me, “distinctive”, “individual”, “idiosyncratic”, “different”, “eccentric” and “unusual” for unique (flipping writing itself this). The Cravats have indeed always been all of those things, but “unique” sums it up just fine.
Okay, you may prefer to be dragged along the motorway under a rusty Land Rover than have to listen to that sax-riddled, bass-laden Dadaist weirdness again but you can’t deny they’re “unique”.
And with 13 brand-new slabs of peculiarity from these particularly peculiar people (even oscillator overlord, Simeon Coxe of Silver Apples pops up for a few seconds on Motorcycle Man), DoS is still the Cravats that John Peel loved (4 sessions) back in 1978, but with an extra 35 years of life on Earth soaked into their bones.
The two critically-acclaimed singles from 2016 – Blurred and Jingo Bells – which Marc Riley, Gideon Coe and Henry Rollins amongst others, played a wad on the wireless are here, as well as songs involving buried cattle, hatcheting Toyotas, death ray vaporisation, the mud-soaked sibling of Neptune and, of course, atheist yacht-owning crocodiles.
Er, help me out here, Shend.
"Music should always be passionate, preposterous, atmospheric and above all entertaining. We fulfil the remit"
They do. It’s like watching 13 magnificent mini-movies at your local multiplex but you’re eyeballing them with your ears.
And talking of Thesauruses, who the hell uses words like, “maliloquent” and “predilection” in Pop songs?
If Shakespeare, Max Ernst and Beefheart had a radio show, this LP would probably be on heavy rotation.
The Cravats are: The Shend – Vocals, Svor Naan – Saxophone & Clarinet, Joe 91 – Bass, Rampton Garstang – Drums, Viscount Biscuits – Guitar