Keith John Adams’ resume includes a stint in Mark Radcliffe praised “Art Skiffle” group Zuno Men during the 1990s, and a solo career extending to a Japanese tour with label mates Elekibass. His latest album comes with an added “The” to acknowledge the “band”-like creative input of Jason NeSmith and Kay Stanton from Casper and the Cookies.
Unclever reveals that Adams has a knack for wordplay in the vein of countrymen Dan Treacy and Ray Davies, and the band produce songs that fizz retro facing fun. “Looking around the Planet” combines 1960s garage rock and pop with1980s indie perfectly. It reminded me of Repo Man and the Flaming Lips’ In a Priest Driven Ambulance, and reveals that “the best thing about countries are the people not the places.” “Other Side of the Road” features the wonderful utterance “and you’re drinking your steaming coffee from a shrunken head,” as it chugs on hazy fun and Mclusky wit.
“Elizabeth Hodgkinson Warzone” could be a top draw Kinks song, swaying as Adams continually asks “will you hit them with your brolley?” “Yesterday Morning” sounds like the stuff of Carl Barat’s dreams with definite dabs of Syd and Dan. “Easy” is the kind of song that I’d love the Kaiser Chiefs to write, complete with Chuck Berry style guitar. “Nobody Loves Me” could cause tears and smudged eyeliner if it was sung by an obnoxious haircut band.
“Now That I Found You” is endearingly strange. It’s manic like the Banana Splits with trailing bells and Beatles solos. “Crying in the Sunshine” does a pretty good approximation of one of the less acclaimed strokes of genius from Parklife, while “Nothing” is a stylish anti-anthem.
The album title could be a mission statement. Unclever is smart to focus on entertaining. This is an addictively fun, off beat pop record.
Television Personalities – And Don’t the Kids just Love It
Blur – Parklife
Syd Barrett – Wouldn’t You Miss Me? The Best of Syd Barrett