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Album Review

Stanley Brinks and the Wave Pictures
Gin Fika Recordings

Article written by Ged M - Mar 19, 2014

stan_brinks_gin.jpg
“I know better than to think too much” sings Stanley on ‘No Goodbyes’, and this album gives every indication that spontaneity and raw emotion were key principles when he was in Soup Studios with the Wave Pictures. That's not so surprising when you find out that the Wave Pictures didn’t have a chance to learn the songs as Stanley hadn’t put a stamp on the envelope carrying the demo tape, but the end result is fresh, improvised and exciting, if occasionally unsettling.

It starts with a couple of tracks pretty reminiscent of Herman Dune – ‘I Wanted You’ has dark themes and bittersweet lyrics with a tortured electric guitar solo – but then departs in strange directions. ‘Spinola Bay’ is playful, the band speak-singing the verses in turn before everyone melts together in the tropical pop chorus, but other songs are sharper and spikier. 'Blues About Krishna’s Last Avatar' is a dark and intense love song (“I believe it’s best to give and expect nothing in return”), featuring fluttering soprano saxophone and an agitated guitar; meanwhile skronky sax and trebly wailing guitar scrap bloodily in a discordant jazzy firefight during ‘Parking Lots’. There are times when you marvel that, after 100 albums for Stanley Brinks (12 for the Wave Pictures) they’re able to surprise you still. There’s nothing as anthemic as the glorious 'Orange Juice' single but ‘No Goodbyes’ stands out as a brooding masterwork as the ominous lyrics, edgy guitar and hypnotic drumming combine to compose a disturbing atmosphere that sucks you in.

The album is deceptively simple but has real depth and quality and the artists spark off each other; the Wave Pictures are skilled at what they do (David Tattersall fires off all sorts of fast and sharp solos) while Stanley Brinks, first with Herman Dune and now on his own, shows that he can twist a melody until it squeals with anguish. When the two parts come together as ‘Gin’, it’s a refreshing pick-me-up; a tonic in fact…

Links:
http://stanleybrinks.bandcamp.com/
http://fikarecordings.com/artists/stanley-brinks-the-wave-pictures/
http://www.thewavepictures.com/

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