Friday, 31 August 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #300 - Eugene McGuiness, "The Invitation To The Voyage"

This album has given me all kinds of ideas about the DNA of Pop and the DNA of Britain and how the kinky fault-line running between them can be traced in all kinds of crazy, quirky directions. Eugene is in that lineage somewhere - fighting for attention with Adam Ant and Madness and Scott Walker and whomever else. Jive Bunny!

There's a taste of Shakespeare in the air around him. (I know I'm probably getting quite carried away.) I don't feel I can quite do the album justice; but I've given it quite a few listens the last week or so. And there's a hunger to the lyrics to stitch as many things together as he can. I like that popological approach to shit. And there's a solid grasp of the ridiculousness of his situation on "Lion" - "My disgraceful quest for immortality/An adventure in an airship inflated by my ego". And in his other hand, an invisible knack for the pop hook, slapping me around the head.

I get a whiff of The Horrors and Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, and these are whiffs I breathe in with big lungs. And while Jack White and the like whinge and do the blues thing about the love interest, Eugene stakes a claim for a bit more of a complicated appraisal on "Thunderbolt", over sliding jazz-like noises. Chamber pop with a great many trimmings. "Joshua" likewise has a wider scope with backing vocals that sounds as though they could be from a sentimental black & white movie from the Forties.

"Japanese Cars" shows there's a bit of discordant keytar funk to hand as well, if needed. Closes out the album nicely, it does. Although it does have a "She's evil" lyric, so perhaps he isn't splitting away from the misogynist tree that far after all.

Rating: Shakespeare out of Pop DNA

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