THE EVIL USSES

This won­der­fully ab­surd four-piece from Bris­tol con­tinue to fizz all over the shop.

Prog - - Intro - RM

In­stru­men­tal bands can of­ten find them­selves look­ing at the empty spot be­hind the mi­cro­phone and fig­ure that they need to man­u­fac­ture a som­bre in­ten­sity to off­set the ab­sence of a singer. No such con­cerns for The Evil Usses, whose sec­ond al­bum, pro­duced by Deer­hoof’s John Di­eterich, is both play­ful and ex­u­ber­ant, like Zappa at his least an­noy­ing or Re­naldo And The Loaf at their most ac­ces­si­ble. Lorenzo Prati’s honk­ing sax and bur­bling synths weave in and out of a lat­tice­work of joy­ous riffs of un­equal length, us­ing that Beef­heartian trick where the riffs sud­denly meet up as ar­ranged be­fore spring­ing off in a new di­rec­tion. Gam­bino, whose video fea­tures the band leap­ing about in mul­ti­coloured boiler suits like ex­citable jump­ing beans, is a high­light, with an Ori­en­tal pen­ta­tonic fig­ure un­der­pinned by blud­geon­ing bass and drums from Leon Boy­don and Daniel Truen re­spec­tively. Pre-Op Pop evokes mem­o­ries of the count­down to Bri­tish For Schools And Col­leges pro­grammes in the 1980s, Con­rad Singh’s soar­ing gui­tar line al­most sin­ga­long, but not quite, thanks to some adorable feints and dummy runs. The over­all ef­fect is de­light­ful and makes you want to punch the air. Maybe twice.

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