THE BEVIS FROND

We’re Your Friends, Man Fire Brit-psych hero still in bloom on al­bum 23.

Prog - - The Musical Box - CE

At 65 years old and with more than 20 al­bums be­hind him, The Bevis Frond’s Nick Salo­man is for­ever in­dus­tri­ous. As well as run­ning his own la­bel and record shop, he’s come up with an­other dou­ble al­bum’s worth of songs. We’re Your Friends, Man finds the vet­eran mu­si­cian in re­flec­tive mood, al­though get­ting older by no means sig­nals a slide into grouch­i­ness. As he points out on Theft: ‘I’m an old muso, an in­ter­est­ing relic, I’ve never been busted, so I’m not psy­che­delic.’ If you want to pick a theme, it’s com­ing to terms with dis­ap­point­ment and lives gone slightly awry, punc­tu­ated with out­bursts of frus­tra­tion. Al­ways mas­ter­fully un­der­stated, he makes qui­etly dev­as­tat­ing, poignant asides, such as the ref­er­ence in Lit­tle Or­ches­tras to songs that are ‘in­tended to con­sole but hurt in­stead’. Clos­ing track You’re On Your Own is a 13-minute tale of a hellish drive over Lon­don’s West­way, end­ing in a squall of twin gui­tar du­elling. Frond fans have come to ex­pect the equiv­a­lent of an al­lyou-can-eat buf­fet with ev­ery re­lease, but the glut of ma­te­rial here is dif­fi­cult to get your head around in one sit­ting. A lit­tle more fo­cus wouldn’t have gone amiss, but life’s messy like that.

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