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'Outsider Pop'   

-  Label: 'Blang'
-  Genre: 'Indie' -  Release Date: '16th January 2016'-  Catalogue No: 'Blang 60'

Our Rating:
This is Paul Hawkins & The Awkward Silences' third album and it comes in the sort of cover that is made for some cool internet meme's as it features a Cat licking its own nose.

The album opens with How We Lost The War, a song that re-works an old Stooges riff into a cool anti-folk rock song about how we were sleeping when we lost the war. That really seems like an accurate comment on how most of us feel these days about how the world is changing in ways we have no way to stop.

The Precautionary Principle steals liberally from David Bowie's awful version of China Girl and mutates it into a sardonic pop song with (are those really?) 80's drum pad sounds. It's delightfully odd.

The Day I Saved The World seems to be owe a debt to Robb Johnson's The Day The World Said Stop The War that It re-works it adding odd 80's musical touches while scaling back the political angles as he claims to have prevented some sort of Armageddon. It's interesting and cool.

(I've Left The) New World Order starts with a chant of The Next Big Football Match over some minimal casio tone backing before Paul's vocals switch with May Boe's to add another level of intrigue to this slightly odd song.

The Black Hound Of The Western Wood has a familiar feel as it sounds like a sepulchral take on Villiers Terrace by Echo & The Bunnymen as this tale of Modern depression unfolds without the drug diseased sleaze of the Bunnymen tune. This is pretty captivating as the black hound chases him down.

The Canonbury Witch Trials could easily be about the treatment of that area's local MP as it often seems that Jeremy Corbyn is treated by the press no better than a witch in the 17th century Canonbury. The track features some interesting parping noises as they ask you to denounce your brothers and daughters. Wow. A very interesting song.

It Takes A Nation Of Idiots To Hold Me Back is a great title and no matter how much it rips off other similar song titles it's still pretty cool. I love the way the backing vocals work as a counterpoint to the at times pointed lyrics. The Substitute has a very funky bass riff that sounds like it's been taken from an old Sugarhill gang record, even if the rest of the music around it is at odds.

Johnny is yet another song of that name and will we remember this Johnny more than the others? Well with lyrics about wanting Liver for tea maybe not. Nonetheless, this slow song that asks many questions of Johnny is still pretty cool as it slowly builds to its conclusion.

The album closes with Mary Boe singing a duet with Paul on Walt Will Rise Again. This sort of re-works Hallelujah into a song hoping to raise Walt Disney from the dead. Not sure how good an idea this is but the tune is pretty effective and a nice closer to a pretty interesting album that is well worth checking out.

Find out more at Blang UK online

The Awkward Silences online
  author: simonovitch

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