R Stevie Moore Lo Fi Hi Fives O Genesis Recordings
Article written by
Ged M - Aug 25, 2012
A Trouser Press review in 1976 described Robert Steven Moore’s first album as “an outrageous collection of musical brain spewage” and thirty-six years and 400+ releases later, this is still true. He’s the poster boy of outsider music, constantly home-recording music and releasing it through a plethora of labels or on his website (over 200 downloadable albums). Now championed by Ariel Pink, the Vaccines - who released a split single on Record Store Day with him - and Charlatans’ Tim Burgess, whose label is releasing this compilation, he’s receiving serious attention at last.
Working in a record shop, and the son of a Nashville musician, he’s absorbed countless influences and synthesised them in his songs but, rather than replicate, everything is a slightly woozy version of something else, as seen through the RSM filter. ‘Pop Music’ is a George Harrison tune with blasts of brass and ‘Big Mistake’ like a narcotised Nirvana just before submitting to oblivion. ‘Another Day Slips Away’ is the sort of whimsical psych pop that Andy Partridge has been fooling round with for decades while ‘Here Comes Summer Again’ is a crude copy of the Beach Boys, deadly accurate in its elements but a bit off in execution.
It’s very well recorded (the “lo-fi” of the title misleads) but it’s not surprising that he’s always occupied the periphery. He has quotable lines for reviewers (“how much more music can we take?” he asks in ‘Showbiz is Dead’) and he has reportable collaborations (although ‘Dutch Me’, his co-write with Ariel Pink, is fey New-Romantic nonsense) but effectively this is musical painting-by-numbers on a huge scale. Fun and listenable - the raw powerpop of ‘Why Should I Love You’ stands out - but this is the very definition of cult.