All Those Freaks

Picture all your favourite art house films involving road trips, flecked sunlight through thick trees and lot’s of rose tinted nostalgia. Then, picture long haired, harmonica ladened and free sprited eccentrics dressed probably in courd pants who enjoy strumming their guitars with a  trance inducing finenes that leaves a clear, lasting impression.

There’s really lot’s of strumming.

If any of those images sound like a dream and you’ve found yourself lost for words avert your attention towards All Those Freaks, the captivating and highly narrative latest release by North London’s The Roves. Put simply, All Those Freaks is a wish fulfilling love soaked anthology of heart felt good vibes and homage to a captured musical past. Finally we have a soundtrack to that inspired coming – of – age, Magical Mystery Ride of our imagination.

Album Cover.jpgphoto credit : Tom Wing

A band of brothers James and Tom Wing there’s an unvarnished quality to James’ lead vocals that result in a charmingly raw and unfiltered casual twang. Bassist Luke Evans and Brendan Monahan on drums complete the set and add structure to the sentimental oddities. They’re all really rather happy and boy will they help us all to bask in their high spirits. 

Opener Speaking for Jerry is a wistfull, stripped back mountain cry to the people. We should all get started on that which we preferably would be doing whatever that may be. Encouraging and twee it’s enchantedly paced at a guitared gallop which, when followed by Everybody’s High, a heritage minded journey into psychedelia and youthful antics is exactly the sort of easy going optimism the world needs right now. 

All Those Freaks is not however all good vibrations and carefree sweetness. King of Comedy is a minimalist, acoustic set lovers dream that sounds like early Jake Bugg in it’s Shangri-La but evidently less Midlands. Likewise, finale Boy from Underdog is a moody, slightly nasal yet meitculously arranged tale that conjours up imagery of dancing alone at school discos and pulls at the heartstrings in a manner certainly unlike its forebearers.

Penultimate track Who’s Sleeping On The Throne is a Where the Wild Things Are reminiscence tale of purity within lonesomness and captivated simplicity. It’s the right kind of fuzzy warmth with a delicate temprement. 

All in all this is a record collection must.  

Al Mills

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