Archie Bronson Outfit – Coconut (Domino) 01/03/10

March 5, 2010 by  

Four years ago, The Archie Bronson Outfit managed to conjure up an impressive album from a genre that has little to offer these days in ‘blues-rock’. Credit due then for enlisting DFA Records’ Tim Goldsworthy to help produce their latest effort ‘Coconut’, realizing their need for a new direction, if not entirely new sound.

Having said that, the album opens with ‘Magnetic Warrior’. Dirty guitar riffs, a thumping bass line and howling vocals are all present. This is a familiar ABO sound, with the exception of the now heavily distorted vocal from Sam Windett. It is the next two tracks though, ‘Shark’s Tooth’ and ‘Hoola’, where Goldsworthy makes his mark. ‘Shark’s Tooth’ is trademark DFA, a catchy dance-punk number that sees the band exploring new ground. ‘Hoola’ takes it a step further, it is the same formula, slightly funkier, and better. The female backing vocals and Windett’s tone bring the required eeriness to what would otherwise be a sickeningly upbeat song for this bunch. The upbeat sound combined with Windett’s dejected vocal style (his declaration on ‘Hoola’, “I’m feeling okay, I’m feeling alright” is about as upbeat as he gets) provide interesting listening, and something I expect the band to explore further in future.

Sadly this album does not continue in the same vein, ‘Wild Strawberries’ is a try-hard psychedelic song without the invention and ‘You Have A Right To A Mountain Life/ One Up Yourself’ is as pretentious as it sounds. Sandwiched in between these two is ‘Chunk’ which is a groovy little tune, sadly drawn out over nearly 5 minutes.

The rest of the album continues in the same manner and it is only the last track ‘Run Gospel Singer’ which throws up something exciting with a nice vocal melody.

I expected more from this album after listening to the opening 3 tracks, and I believe a lot of people will be feeling the same. Goldsworthy’s inclusion was a much needed spark, it’s just a shame that it died out so early. This could be regarded as a transitional album, and it has breathed some new life into the band, I just hope that they take the positives from this, which are evident, and capitalize on them.

[rating:2.5]


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