Album reviews: Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks, Carlene Carter, Ellis Island Sound, Kirsty MacColl, Timber Timbre, Oy

 

Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks Enter the Slasher House (Domino)

While Avey Tare’s characteristic tendency to over-egg arrangements with obfuscatory effects and extra layers of sound sometimes overloads Enter the Slasher House, it’s far less indulged than on the last Animal Collective album. It’s the result, perhaps, of this new outlet being an actual band, Tare joining forces with keyboard player Angel Deradoorian and drummer Jeremy Hyman in a “jazz power trio” devoted to recording live with minimal overdubs.

The results are most impressively coherent on the slinky psych-funk single “Little Fang”, an exhortation to “embrace your darkness, never be ashamed” built on flanged rhythm guitar and a charming keyboard melody, with sundry samples and secondary vocals floating around the mix. It’s easily the most simple and direct pop song that Tare’s recorded in years – which isn’t to say it’s lacking ambition, just that his more outlandish urges have been reined in for the song’s sake.

Those urges naturally burst out in  “A Sender”, where whooshing synth noises herald a bustling, pumping groove swathed in vibrato guitar and Tare’s garbled vocal lines, one running “and the spirit’s still inside you” while another warns “you’re going to die”. But reflecting the album’s corny horror-movie theme, it’s essentially a fantasy, done with fun foremost. Likewise, the more extreme musical elements, like the berserk waltzing toytown-keyboard figure of “Duplex Trip”, and the sudden directional shifts of “Catchy (Was Contagious)”, fit the ghoulish aesthetic, as does the overall hall-of-mirrors sound of the album, with things ricocheting back and forth, constantly distorting. Both musically and lyrically, the project cleaves to that kind of silly-spooky, funfair innocence, in a way that lends the album a freakish, cartoon unity denied to some of Tare’s previous projects.

****

Download: Little Fang; A Sender; Duplex Trip; The Outlaw

Carlene Carter Carter Girl (Rounder)

Carter Girl reaffirms Carlene Carter’s role as scion of country music’s leading family through a mixture of Carter Family classics and original material, plus shaky duets with Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson. The producer Don Was brings a potent contemporary feel to it, lacing together “Little Black Train” with pedal-steel licks. A metaphor for judgement day, it strikes a chord echoing throughout the album, from “Give Me the Roses” – a call for love during lifetime, rather than expressed graveside – to “Lonesome Valley 2003”, a depiction of her mother June Carter’s funeral. “Me and  the Wildwood Rose” offers childhood recollections, while  a posthumous family singalong  is effected by grafting June and Johnny Cash’s voices on to  “I Ain’t Gonna Work Tomorrow”.

***

Download: Little Black Train; Give Me  the Roses; Me and the Wildwood Rose 

Ellis Island Sound Regions (Village Green)

Of all Pete Astor’s musical endeavours, as far back as Creation stalwarts The Loft, his alliance with David Sheppard may be the most fruitful. Their latest offering finds them conjuring  up a blend of Krautrock motorik and West African guitar pop that crackles like space dust. The title “Nairobi/Köln” signals their intentions, its marimba figure growing into a shuffling groove sparkling with stitches of counterpoint guitar; “So Much Water Close to Home” adds peppery congas, trombone and dub  echo to the mix, while “Intro, Airborne, Travelling” could be an outtake from a Neu! album. With Sheppard’s tuned percussion lending a gamelan feel to “The Letting Go”, Regions is replete with diverse approaches, as enjoyable as they are eclectic.

****

Download: Nairobi/Köln; So Much Water Close to Home; Intro, Airborne, Travelling; We Do Not

Kirsty MacColl All I Ever Wanted: The Anthology (Union Square/Salvo)

Now widely acknowledged as the Lily Allen of her era, Kirsty MacColl wielded a winning blend of strength and fragility, vocally and lyrically: even when lamenting losses in the battle of the sexes, her plaintive tones disguised an assertive spirit that relished the prospect of revenge. It’s a large part of the synergy that drives “Fairytale of New York”, and it also lends poignancy to earlier, Smiths-influenced songs such as “Free World” and the empathic refugee anthem “Children of the Revolution”. Her wry delivery later found natural harbour in the Latin American settings of the Tropical Brainstorm album, where subtle lyrics and elegant settings brought her close to the spirit of Brazilian Tropicalismo. Not bad going for this most English of talents.

***

Download: Us Amazonians; Fairytale of New York; A New England

Timber Timbre Hot Dreams (Full Time Hobby)

An undercurrent of despairing menace lurks beneath the calm surface of Timber Timbre’s fifth album, from the title-track’s urge to “follow through on all my promises and threats to you”, to the “phantasms fantastic” in “Beat the Drum Slowly”. The latter is an exquisite distillation of the band’s sound, with Taylor Kirk’s sombre baritone and an eerie soundscape of guitar, mellotron and chimes recalling both Tindersticks and Calexico. The cinematic Calexico feel continues on the Western nobility of “Bring Me Simple Men”, while the stolid groove, Farfisa organ and declamatory guitar of “Curtains?!” has a more European aspect. A bleak but alluring album, its mood is best conveyed by a line from “The Low Commotion”: “What does it mean to face desire so sadly?”.

****

Download: Beat the Drum Slowly; Hot Dreams; Curtains?!; Bring Me Simple Men

Oy No Problem Saloon (Crammed Discs)

A duo comprising Swiss-Ghanaian singer/musician Joy Frempong and drummer/producer Llelujah-Ha, Oy’s crossover Afro-electro style is akin to that of the Sudanese/American performer Sinkane. There’s a similar blend of sophisticated percussive patterns and simple melodic figures, like the descending  pipe-organ motif that drives  the conversational “Akwaaba”. Elsewhere, the celebration of afros, cornrows and dreadlocks  in “Hallelujah! Hair!” is set to gently percolating balofon, while the beguiling fable “Doondari” employs a soundscape of marimba, waves and baby cries to underscore its humanist mythology: “At the beginning, there was a huge drop of milk/Then fire created water, and water created air.” Sounds reasonable enough.

***

Download: Akwaaba; Hallelujah! Hair!; Doondari

Arts and Entertainment
Relocation, relocation: Zawe Ashton travels the pathway to Northampton

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
BBC Three was launched a little over five years ago with the slogan: “Three, is a magic number, yes it is.”

BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital move

TV
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Armie Hammer in the new film of ‘The Lone Ranger’

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Arts and Entertainment
The audience aimed thousands of Apple’s product units at Taylor Swift throughout the show
musicReview: On stage her manner is natural, her command of space masterful
Arts and Entertainment
Channel 4 is reviving its Chris Evans-hosted Nineties hit TFI Friday

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford plays Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade (1989)

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
A Glastonbury reveller hides under an umbrella at the festival last year

Glastonbury
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Miles Morales is to replace Peter Parker as the new Spider-Man

comics
Arts and Entertainment
The sequel to 1993's Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, has stormed into the global record books to score the highest worldwide opening weekend in history.

film
Arts and Entertainment
Odi (Will Tudor)
tvReview: Humans, episode 2
Arts and Entertainment
Can't cope with a Port-A-loo? We've got the solution for you

FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets

Arts and Entertainment
Some zookeepers have been braver than others in the #jurassiczoo trend

Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant

Arts and Entertainment
An original Miffy illustration
art
Arts and Entertainment
Man of mystery: Ian McKellen as an ageing Sherlock Holmes
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Kitchen set: Yvette Fielding, Patricia Potter, Chesney Hawkes, Sarah Harding and Sheree Murphy
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Evans has been confirmed as the new host of Top Gear
TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
    Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

    No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

    Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
    Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

    Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

    The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
    Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

    Something wicked?

    Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
    10 best sun creams for body

    10 best sun creams for body

    Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

    Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
    Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

    There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

    The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map