Sunday, 3 November 2013

Album Review - Super Adventure Club - Straight From The Dick

For this review, I listened to this Super Adventure Club album at work.  On headphones, mind.  I sit next to my boss in a big open-plan office.

That’s probably not very interesting (or, on the face of it, relevant) but I promise you it’s pertinent.  Oh yes.  It’s pertinent because I need to warn you, dear reader of Scottish Fiction, that if you do what I did, you are very likely to do what I did next.

That is, before too long you’ll have abandoned your work entirely in favour of crazed head-nodding, and you’ll be humming "dog with two dicks, dog with two dicks, dog with two dicks!" loud enough for an entire office full of mild-mannered middle-aged women to hear what you’re saying.

I regret nothing.

Neither will you, if you give this a listen.  Straight From The Dick is gloriously odd, absurdly catchy for something so off-kilter, and a whole lot of fun.  It’s like, umm, well, it’s like the Pixies playing Fugazi songs with Arab Strap.  No, hang on, it’s like Prolapse fronting the Beefheart band.  Err, Ivor Cutler gone Weegie hardcore math-rock?  No no, they’re from Edinburgh.  Scratch that.  Oh, I don’t know.  The band’s own blurb tries this game and describes them as "The ghost of Zappa meets Fugazi on prog-rock pills" and "wrong-pop" but whatever it is, it’s crazed, riff-driven, wild beast of a noise.

Surreal Scots word games sung over a mishmash of odd time-sequences, strange guitar sounds you aren’t supposed to make, crazed drumming and the occasional wild growl of rage when words just don’t sound crazy enough.  There are wide eyed rants about your backpack being raided and your trousers catching fire delivered with a manic glint of joy in the eye, and the music sounds like the sound of your brain frying in the background.

I’m not saying drugs, mind.  It’s more like popping candy.  The impact of the album is something like that feeling you get when you’re nine and at someone’s birthday, and you and all your friends have just ingested your own body weight in sugar.  It’s music for bouncing off the walls in hyperactive glee as the adults cower at the sidelines hoping no-one runs through a window, and it’s absolutely fantastic.  Actually, listening to this on a bouncy castle would probably be the best thing in the world.

Sometimes you think they’re deliberately breaking the rules to see what it sounds like, and to see the look on people’s faces.  My first thought on hearing their bassist Mandy sing the line, "spend your whole time trying to choose between a sock and a hard place / I’d choose the sock."  (Surely about wanking, n’est-ce pas?)  My thoughts on the aforementioned double-endowed Dachsund were, "I bet they haven’t played this to their grandmothers", but on reflection I think I’m wrong about that.  I think they’d play it to their grandmothers and film their reaction, giggling madly as they did so.

The last aspect of this album that I feel I should mention is the sheer skill involved.  For something that’s this chaotic and freewheeling, there’s a lot of musicianship involved.  The underpinning skill is very impressive and you feel like any one of this trio could be dropped into a jazz band and cope OK.  Until they got chucked out for making puerile jokes at the back, or making fart noises during a trumpet solo, or something.

All in all, Straight From The Dick is a playful, joyous riot.  Play it loudly in your office, bouncy castle or old folk’s home today.

- Tom Everett

Super Adventure Club - Straight From The Dick is out on Armellodie Records on 2 December 2013 and is available to pre-order here. 

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