Our Daily Bread 533: Oliver Birch, Kamikaze Palm Tree, Salem Trials, Nick Frater…

August 1, 2022



Andrés Alcover ‘Where Did We Go Wrong?’

‘Where Did We Go Wrong’ is a charming little single, a song that has the grace charm and beauty of a song one might have heard floating from your transistor radio all those years ago in the halcyon days of 70s soft rock pop. It has a warm sunny disposition that covers us the lucky listeners with a glow of soft musical sublimity.

Mike Badger ‘Beatin’ A Path (To Your Door)’

Beatin’ A Path To Your Door’ is a stomping piece of rockabilly from Liverpool legend Mike Badger, founder member of the La’s and the much underrated Onset who I remember with much fondness seeing them perform a storming set of country rock in the Royal Alfred pub in St Helens in the 80s: what a night, what a venue, what a beautiful time to be young. But I digress.

What we have here is a just plainly beautiful, raw and sexually driven slice of rock ‘n’ roll, which all rock ‘n’ roll really should have: sex without the sex in rock ‘n’ roll just becomes rock. Yes, indeed Mike Badger lives and breathes the spirit of art and adventure for rock ‘n’ roll without art and adventure is like Ikea furniture – nice to look at functionally but lacking true soul, which cannot be said about ‘Beating A Path To Your Door’, which is anything but Ikea furniture.

Salem Trials ‘Another Fripp World’
(Metal Postcard Records)

A rampart gallivant of a Fall-like track from the ever-wonderful Salam Trials, and a taster to their forthcoming triple album of sonic delight. There really is no-one quite like the Salam Trials; they are the Colombo of rock ‘n’ roll, a true one off who never disappoints, and behind their image of shambolic underdogs lies a beating heart of mind dazzling brilliance.

Lucy And The Drill Holes ‘It’s Not My War’
(Metal Postcard Records)

The debut single from Lucy And The Drill Holes is a gentle laid back stroll through a psychedelic wonderland: imagine a stoned Alice floating down the rabbit hole on a returned memory ridden revisit to Wonderland. A fine debut single. And can we hope for an album? Let’s hope so. There are three mixes of this track and each as beautiful as the other.

Imaad Wasif  ‘Fader’

‘Fader’ is quite a beautiful little thing. Mercury Rev, early 70s Lennon with ‘Fade Into You’ guitar. What more can one ask for on a Sunday Morning, with its almost hymn like ‘I have just found god but am ignoring him until he begs for my forgiveness’. Yes, a track of elegance eloquence and pop sublimity.


Oliver Birch ‘Burning Daylight’

Burning Daylight is a bit of a gem of an album. Oliver Birch skips from psych to folk to pop to punk to prog to jazz: sometimes in the same song. At will he seems to be a jack of all genres and master of them all. He really is an impressive chap; part Tom Waits, part Tame Impala and part Nick Drake.

There is a quality about this album that reminds me of Skip Spence’s OAR, but without actually sounding much like it. It has an under-layer of darkness that I feel quite comforting. And for an album I could lose myself in, there is so much going on; like watching three movies at once and getting emotionally involved with them all.

Burning Daylight without doubt is one of the most emotionally draining and moving albums I have heard this year, a true work of art, a gem of an album.

Nick Frater ‘Aerodrome Motel’
(Big Stir Records) 19th August 2022

Nick Frater’s, as I have written in previous reviews of his music releases, albums are filled with radio friendly gems of pure sunny delight; songs that recall the long hot summers of the 1970s. And Aerodrome Motel is another beauty of pop glory. Yes, roll over Emitt Rhodes and tell Squeeze the news, for we have found the soundtrack to what is left of summer. 

Nick weaves his many influences, The Beatles, Mott, Rhodes, Squeeze, Brendan Benson and all those fine power pop bands from the late seventies and early 80s, into songs written with a panache more ordinary power popper’s can only sit and stroke their Rickenbaker and dream of producing. So many gems to mention:  ‘Dancing With Gertrude2’, a song worthy of The Left Banke, ‘American Expressway’, a dream of a track, a silken journey from the Zombies to 10cc.

I have been blessed with being sent so many fine albums to listen to and write about this last few weeks and I’m not saying this is the best, but it is in the top one. Yes, another delight of a record reminding us just what is so special about the power and pull of a beautifully written and performed melody.

Kamikaze Palm Tree ‘Mint Chip’
(Drag City) 12th August 2022

Kamikaze Palm Tree is a fine name for a band, and this album lives up to their name. Mint Chip is an album of quirky rinky dinky jerky angular guitar [a quiff briefly for a second burst forth from my skull] pop. And pop my children of the night is not something to be scared of as the great Adam Ant once proclaimed – although it was not pop he was proclaiming about, but you get my point.

This is a joy of a clockwork toy of an album; experimental, tuneful and magical, sometimes out of tune and out of step with the world. And that is what is so great about it: like an Avant-Garde cartoon from the seventies that would occasionally and beguilingly turn up mid morning on the TV in the summer, in the school holidays; that would confuse and delight you and make you aware that strange is good, strange can be magical, strange is Kamikaze Palm Tree.

Legless Trials ‘Cheese Sandwich’
(Metal Postcard Records)

More battered leather motorbike music from the no wave rock ‘n’ roll duo The Legless Trials. From the storming guitar jam frenzy of the velvety Fall opener ‘Open Seasons’ to the fourteen-minute plus closer, the excellent titled ‘Ray’s Kid Brother Is The Bomb’ – again a track that has you transporting back to the hot summer nights of New York city streets circa 1979, post punk no wave magic.

In between these two highlights you will find one of the tracks of the year with the single ‘Dirt Bike’ – as previously reviewed -, a frugtastic track of guitar swingatude. And five other tracks that keeps the spirit, guile and arrogance of Lou Reed alive and well.


One Response to “Our Daily Bread 533: Oliver Birch, Kamikaze Palm Tree, Salem Trials, Nick Frater…”

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