Here’s the band’s seventh studio album, More Songs About Girls and the Apocalypse (if that sounds partly familiar, think Talking Heads) and from the teasers heard at the Newtown Festival in March and their gig at Meow! recently, I’m anticipating this could be another unheralded delight from Powertool records.
The opening burst of beautiful quirkiness is Flint and Tinder, which is also their opener at live shows. Built around a call-and-response between Vorn Colgan, singer, songwriter and possessor of groovy red jeans, and the rest of the band, it poses the question of what love actually is.
The War Cry of J. Alfred Prufrock is an attempt to sound like mid-80s hip-hop; Drowning Kittens is, well, the title says it all, as former keyboardist Anna Edgington relates the grim tale of having to dispose of unwanted animals and then there’s the gay disco/ country and western of The Story of My Fucking Life: title of the year, song of the album. And full of wonderful one-liners, such as “I planned to hitch a ride to Hamilton and drink myself to death.” . It stretches to more than seven minutes, finishing on haunting Latin operatics.
As you’re already wondering Colgan’s accomplices are Simon Bayliss on bass, Nick Brown on drums, Ka’isa Beech on keys (and kaossilator!) and violinist Thomas ‘Thomas’ Liggett. They’re a tight unit though on first appearances you wonder how they even got together.
Flint and Tinder is reprised (sort of) in This Is What with a nudge to the Balkans. Meanwhile, The Rules slow things down, as the outfit retreat into a darker corner of the house, where Colgan bemoans that he isn’t quite adjusting to the regulations: “And they call this shit a game/ But what they mean is that it’s something you don’t get paid to do, and you almost always lose.”
There’s pop songs, hip-hop, keyboard-fuelled songs, swearing, rants, and great one-liners. More Songs … is exactly the kind of album I would have expected from Vorn in 2014.