tue 16/04/2024

CD: Tindersticks – The Something Rain | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Tindersticks – The Something Rain

CD: Tindersticks – The Something Rain

Will the return of the Midlands gloom-mongers put a smile on faces?

Tindersticks: The best thing to emerge from Nottingham since Brian Clough

Nottingham's Tindersticks were always a band out of time. They may have had something of the night about them when they started two decades ago, but they were too late for the Nick Cave-franchised post-goth party. By the time they had brightened up a little the Britpop bandwagon had saddled up and left town. They split, then reformed in 2006.

Now on their ninth studio album, the remaining originals and some interesting chums have come up with a swirling, elegant, multi-genre beast, which manages to be both melancholic and wry, proudly defying categorisation.

"Chocolate", the opening nine-minute sprachsong, is a bold, striking statement of intent. Versatile persussionist David Boulter intones a wonderfully deadpan Pulp-ish short story about bedsitland and late night chip shops, which has a darkly comic pay-off. While this first track is called "Chocolate" the second briefly recalls Hot Chocolate, particularly the chilling pop-soul riff of "Emma", this time round graced by the baritone pipes of Stuart Staples. As has always been the case with this band, Staples overshadows everything. His earth-shaking vocals dominate the album, although freeform brass-for-hire Terry Edwards certainly gives him a run for his money during his punchy contributions.

The musical mood swings effectively from funereal funk through to film soundtracks with the aid of some gloriously lush string arrangements. Like that other northern noir-lover Barry Adamson, this band is partial to an evocative, ambiguous vibe. On "Come Inside" Staples sings "I've been expecting you" and it is not immediately clear whether he is playing the part of a lover or a Bond villain. Sometimes there is unexpected, unintentional humour: Staples does a more than serviceable impression of Vic Reeves' jerky club singer on "Slippin' Shoes". It is an album which will make you giggle and then haunt you. Perhaps, after 20 years of toiling at alt-rock’s coalface, Tindersticks time has finally come.

Watch the video for Tindersticks' "Medicine"


The musical mood swings from funereal funk through to film soundtracks


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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