Gin is a collaboration between Leicestershire’s The Wave Pictures and Stanley Brinks, formerly known as André Herman Düne and until 2006 part of the group of that name - minus the André part, sure. Both acts are reputed for their no less than industrial output of music, much of it together. This is in fact their third co-album. Awwww, you guys should totally kiss.
It’s touted as a raw, unpolished affair, rich on the improv and recorded live in the studio in but a single heady day. It even comes with an added footnote of hilarity – Brinks forgot to put a stamp on the demo tape when he tried to send it from Berlin (trendy humblebrag) so the bloody Wave Pictures had never heard any of the songs before. Here’s a needle and thread, stitch your sides back together, eh?
Ah, but are not The Wave Pictures an act who have studied hard at the arts of unstudied music? Indeed, ladies and the gentlemen, they are, and thus was such a toothsome titbit never imparted, you would have found yourself none the wiser. It sounds, well, pretty much like The Wave Pictures – not an act famed for their range, after all. Brinks’ adds an earnest and romantic edge as compared to The Wave Pictures’ slightly more irreverent stance, with drunken recollection seeming to inform his storytelling. Well, the record is called Gin, after all. There’s something a little more frenetic in the guitar solos than you’d find on a Wave Pictures-on-their-own record and the occasional equally frenetic trumpet attacks add further drama to proceedings, while Brinks’ elegantly enunciated words are not without seductive charm.
The overall effect is of musicians who are used to this kind of thing reading from a book of musical notation called ‘Mood Facilitating Chamber Pieces for Male Indie Pop Groups, Volume II: That Time in the Kitchen with the Girl’. The album’s fun and you’d be happy to hear it played by a ragtag bunch of reasonably charismatic journeymen musicians at a party or in a basement-level venue (arguably, that is exactly what is happening). If it was your friend’s band, you’d get your other friends to come down and listen to them because, although it’s not their sort of music, they’ll like it.
However, as with so many records in this tradition, there is nothing to really endear this to you beyond the time of listening. A couple of plays will leave you only with the faintly ridiculous spoken word plus lad chorus stylings of “Spinola Bay” lingering in the ear – quite possibly for the wrong reasons (the introduction will make you wonder why a Spotify ad is playing when you’re not using Spotify). But hey, music is allowed to be throwaway sometimes, so, if you’re not looking for anything serious right now…
Release: 3rd March 2014, Fika Recordings