The Hang of Music: Bombshell Shmomshell
It’s still technically Thursday, right?
This week, it’s King Creosote, with “Bombshell”. I hope you like.
OK, lets get one thing straight. This week, I am talking about King Creosote, not King Crimson*. No matter how much I may want it to be. The difference is, the one that today is not all about is a 70s prog rock band, whereas today we are talking about the solo project of scottish folk musician Kenny Anderson. So no talking about prog rock today. I’m warning you!
Anyway, yes, a folk album. But I didn’t know that when I first put this album on. That wasn’t what I was expecting. I think that the first and only track that I’d hear when I started listening to this was “You’ve No Clue, Do You”**, and if you’ve listened to both tracks I’ve linked, or have ever listened to any King Creosote before, then you’ll probably have noticed how different the song to the rest.
However, I tend to be surprised in some way when I write these reviews, so I suppose it’s good to get my being surprised out of the way early. So, this is a folk album – roger!
I was tipped off to this when the opening track started with a solo squeezebox, and most of the song itself consisted of that and singing. Just them, I think. I was impressed, if only because they are rare instruments to hear these days. I even think they’re a bit underrepresented in folk circles.
It’s probably for this reason that they (or he – whichever) remind me of a very stripped down Bellowhead. I keep expecting the lively fiddles to come in, and I can almost hear the drums. Speaking of which, I’m still stumped as to what the hell that instrument is that comes on on “Cowardly Custard”. It seems to be some sort of wind instrument, but it just comes out of nowhere.
I think this song contains a contender for “Most Egregiously Extended Syllable (Outside Of A Pop Song) Of All Time”. He actually has the audacity to sing “That’s that off my chee-e-e-e-st”; that last word, if you can’t recognise it, roughly translates into english as “chest”, but somehow becomes a five syllable word. To make matters worse, he makes the first syllable rhyme with “bee”. Seriously, that is horrible.
Did you pick up, by the way, that the entirety of that song is just one huge Cluedo reference. What. The. Fuck? I am, broadly speaking, in favour of odd themes and subjects for songs. But all this makes me ask what was he on when he wrote this?
These complaints (such as not being Bellowhead and stupid rhymes), I really enjoyed this album. I hate that I have to qualify that, because there’s no reason for this review to have come off as sounding negative. If it has, then I didn’t mean it, honest. And if it didn’t, then… I don’t know, ignore this. And this. And this…
The point is, if you enjoy folky, poppy, stuff, then you’ll probably enjoy this. In many ways, it reminds me of Levellers a few months back***. If I had a real complaint, I might say that Bombshell was in general too light: despite how much I’ve talked about it, there wasn’t quite as much in the way of instrumentation, at least on individual songs.
But then I remind myself – “He’s just one guy! Cut him some slack for not having 5 instruments on each track.” Touché, me; touché!
* I just wrote that the wrong way around as I was typing this up; that’s how deep the confusion is!
** Which really needs a question mark!
*** Self-promotion no-jutsu!