The Pure Conjecture - Gendres

Gendres... A stylistic blendre

Albums Round-up: The Pure Conjecture, Hejira, Doug Tielli

Published on October 15th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams

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Let’s round up three albums we’ve enjoyed recently, from The Pure Conjecture, Hejira and Doug Tielli…

The Pure Conjecture – Gendres

We loved the Matt Eaton-led supergroup’s Courgettes album of last year, and Gendres declares itself in no mood to disappoint straight from the off with:

“I was born on seven minutes past seven on the seventh day of July in 1977 / I weighed seven pounds and seven ounces ’cause I was seven days premature / I spent the first seven hours of my life in an incubator”.

That’s the opening line of opening track “Roadworks on Memory Lane”, a wry sort of Byrds/Teenage Fanclub jangle-pop with a dash of Half Man Half Biscuit about it.

The classic soul-tinged feel of Courgettes is further flaunted by the Dick Dale surf-rock riffing of “Surfin’ Sunset”, which rounds off the suitability of its title with twinkles of glockenspiel and some gorgeous minor 7th chords.

“Opinion Fatigue” is different again, a sleepy and lusciously orchestrated number that unfurls into something that brings to mind Pet Sounds by way of The Boo Radleys.

The skipping yet haunting “I Just Want You to Love Me” is very smart stuff indeed, “Dictators” is seriously luxurious, while “What’s Worse” serves up a laterally conceived bass/piano/drum motif that is really quite brilliant.

“Midnight Dancing” and set-closer “I Thought I’d Get Along With You” are probably the most reconcilable with Courgettes, and there’s no harm done there; it’s nice that The Pure Conjecture’s latest triumph keeps in touch with its predecessor.

Gendres is out now on Armellodie Records.

You can buy Gendres from The Pure Conjecture’s Bandcamp.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

a quaila quaila quaila quail

Hejira – Prayer Before Birth

Signed to Matthew Herbert’s Accidental Records, Hejira don’t so much make music as conjure it, scoop it out of a sacred place in some other dimension.

Recent single “Litmus Test” is like a postrockily nightmarish Tunng, complete with the low resonating thuds of ominous percussion and what sounds like the line “Let me wash inside your stink”.

“Know” is absolutely glorious, a heavenly essence struggling free of its shackles for one of the most astounding stand-offs between light and shade you’ll hear all year, while “Pinter” is so stirring a strand of doom-folk that it almost sounds as if it’s on its way to a medieval battlefield.

Most effective as a microcosm of the album is arguably “Gypsy of the Soul”, insomuch as it is at once luxurious and unsettling. Hejira are really onto something.

Prayer Before Birth will be released on October 21st through Accidental Records.

You can buy Prayer Before Birth on Amazon.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

a quaila quaila quaila quail

Doug Tielli – Keresley

Last year’s Swan Sky Sea Squirrel LP was a beautiful collection of desolate slow-dances with insanity, a half-improvised-sounding spread of splashed Pollock paints and unremitting somnambulism.

It’s quite a surprise, then, when opener “Water Falls” throws drums into the equation, albeit they are also quite freeform (or, as yer man sings, “free like the waterfall”). The all-round effect is like an ayahuasca trip transposed into Africa, and it’s wonderful.

Still life resumes control from thereon in, but not without its variety; there’s the beguiling acoustic fingerpicking of “Milo”, the wilderness of brass that is “Oak”, the absurd wailing and banging of “LoveLoveLove” and the mad lucid dream of “Being Mist”, in which bucolic folk somehow intercepts an extra terrestrial transmission.

By dint of conforming to some kind of traditional song structure, closing track “A Dream That I Am” is perhaps most surprising of all. Lovely it is, too; one wonders whether this was his deviation, or everything else.

Keresley is out now on Tin Angel Records.

You can buy Keresley on iTunes and on Amazon.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

a quaila quaila quaila quail

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About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.