LP  Review 

Huck for Monolith Cocktail

Sean Bw Parker revels in the curious gospel blues rock and roll of Huck & his Xander Band.


Huck & The Xander Band   ‘Alexander The Great’ (Operetta Records)   Available Now

‘They call me XANDERRR…!’


Oxford’s Huck is a weird one all right. If you ever imagined that city bastion of literature and nu-atheism was all about Thom Yorke and Richard Dawkins with jumpers for goalposts between its dreaming spires and Thomas Hardy’s lost dreams, well not anymore.


This ‘Alexander The Great’ (as I’m led to believe the first album of three) is maddeningly short, which I suppose is a good thing. Huck himself is an unprepossessing entity, carried forth by his frankly astonishing voice: part Jeff Buckley, Tom Waits, Anna Calvi and the guy from JJ72.


The way Huck beguilingly and confidently switches between sounds and effects to cause this bizarre ambiguity is at first sideswipe confusing, and on repeated listens fascinating. The post-rock verse washes juxtaposed with cunningly deployed rockabilly refrains gleefully trips you up at every opportunity.


The impression remaining is the bewildered yodeling’s of a true artist, unencumbered by image or falsitude, barking and howling his postmodern allegory against an (apparently) indifferent audience. Many secrets remain to be uncovered – especially as this seems to be an unfolding story – but Huck is a singer who fucking means it, whatever he means, and we need that now more than ever.


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