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NICHOLAS ALLBROOK

nicholas allbrookNICHOLAS ALLBROOK
Ganough, Wallis & Fatuna 

Spinning Top

Nicholas Allbrook’s main band, Pond, makes quality records of throwback psych/glam and performs live shows that are something to tell your friends about, with Allbrook a waifish soul captain out front. But it’s always felt like he’s capable of much more than what fits with that band’s bombastic slant.  

Ganough, Wallis & Fatuna, the first record released under Allbrook’s own name, comes good on the promised potential of his idiosyncratic talent. He moves freely between dreamy falsetto and ocker-tongued speak-singing. Accordingly, the lyrics range from confessional – ‘Nothing in my heart‘ – to Dylan-esque surrealism: ‘Omniscient beings wouldn’t choose to live in the gutter‘.

The choruses contain enough lip-smacking melody to suggest that Allbrook could easily match the sing-along quality of Yoshimi-era Flaming Lips. Instead, he frequently detours into experimental or just plain fucked-up territory.

While Ganough, Wallis & Fatuna proves Allbrook is a dexterous and crafty musician, a crucial level of simplicity is maintained throughout. There are plenty of clever chord patterns and the brilliant disfiguring of seemingly well-behaved songs, but Allbrook makes sure each song is worth listening to first. 

4 stars

AUGUSTUS WELBY

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