January 2022 – single & track reviews – Adult Matters’ ‘Blue Car’; Tony Patterson & Doug Melbourne’s ‘Maybe’; Lammping’s ‘Everlasting Moor’

14 Jan

Dour and wistful, the lo-fi love song of ‘Blue Car’ has already had the air shoved out of it. Accompanied by the shambling chords of his own guitar and reedy melodica, Luigi Bussotti – a.k.a. Adult Matters – toys dispiritedly with snapshots of an affair that ultimately went nowhere. The low-budget video sticks him into the pristine shambles of a basement party at which he’s outnumbered not just by a bevy of red balloons, but by everything. Humiliated by an absolute no-show, he sits alone stuffing huge handfuls of cake into his gob and staring through his glasses, visibly hurt and discouraged, at the ruin of an evening.


Cheerful stuff. But you can’t but have some sympathy for someone who’s wearing his feelings so openly. Every remembered kiss, every shared Joni Mitchell song on the player, and every moment together meant a great deal. Now he’s trying to keep them popping out of reach, bubbles in air and memory. His disaffected tone, too, is not so petty and self-pitying as to make you want to slap him, even when he’s pleading “If you can’t fix yourself, you could tell me how to fix myself. / I have to tell myself I’m not a failure.” Ultimately, what you take away from this song is a beaten-down stubbornness. His last lines are a defiant reiteration of a remembered car-seat snog: a kiss which he won’t let fade. A marker set down, firmly.

You’d expect men who’ve spent most of their time together as covers-band musicians to be wilfully locked into a rut or two. Knowing that Tony Patterson and Doug Melbourne previously recreated specific early-‘70s prog (as, respectively, singer and keyboard guy for ReGenesis) might hammer further nails into the coffin of your expectations. There are few traps like a prog trap. For one thing, you’ve got to work a lot damn harder to keep up with the music and to keep yourself in there.

Expectations would be wrong, however. Left to themselves, Tony and Doug don’t ape Gabriel, Banks and co. other than in sharing that same keen Genesis interest in taking in assorted classic pop forms to blend and re-distill in their own way, or to rub up against their own well-established English psyches to see what emerges. Previous duo efforts have included stabs at imagined James Bond themes, sarcastic soft rock about fake news, trip hop and trance pop. Serving as the first taste of a second Tony’n’Doug album, ‘Maybe’ fuses Beach Boys chorale and West Coast pop choruses (including a punk-pop on-the-one blat in the snare drum) with Philly soul verses, while filtering both of them through a consciousness of English understatement and reticent romanticism.

Outside of ReGenesis, Tony tends to favour a softer, croonier pop vocal, piggybacks on Doug’s drenches of organ and jittering synth patches. The song deliberately makes light of things, looking askew at a collapsing future while trying to blot it out with optimism; just as Doug’s cunning Banks-tinged chord choices are carefully obscured under the driving yacht-rock pace.

Conversely, Toronto garage-grinders Lammping wear their psychedelic roots and trappings proudly on their dashboards. An exuberant shambolic-prog intro goes straight into a lysergic automobile pulse, an overbalancing organ, a wah-guitar ripping streaks up the highway, an easygoing but propulsive drum whack – all here. ‘Everlasting Moor’ is a drive-away road song, with hints of building a new utopian city out in the wilderness, apparently out of bricks of hash. Perhaps they’ll pick up Luigi along the way and give him a night ride home to remember. It ends with a savage cut-out, suggesting that Lammping either flashed into hyperspace or got flattened, in a split-second, onto the front of a heavy-duty Peterbilt.

Adult Matters: ‘Blue Car’
Coypu Records (no catalogue number or barcode)
Download/streaming single
Released:
13th January 2022

Get/stream it from:
Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Apple Music, YouTube

Adult Matters online:
Facebook, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Last.fm, Apple Music, Spotify, Instagram    

Tony Patterson & Doug Melbourne: ‘Maybe’
Bad Elephant Music (no catalogue number or barcode)
Download/streaming single
Released:
13th January 2022

Get/stream it from:
Bandcamp

Tony Patterson & Doug Melbourne online:
Facebook, Bandcamp, Last.fm, Apple Music, YouTube, Deezer, Spotify, Amazon Music    

Tony Patterson online:
Homepage, Facebook, Soundcloud, Apple Music, Deezer, Spotify, Amazon Music

Doug Melbourne online:
Facebook, Soundcloud, Last.fm, Apple Music, Deezer, Spotify, Amazon Music

Lammping: ‘Everlasting Moor’
We Are Busy Bodies (no catalogue number or barcode)
Download/streaming single
Released:
14th January 2022

Get/stream it from:
Bandcamp, Apple Music, Deezer, Spotify, Amazon Music

Lammping online:
Twitter, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Last.fm, Apple Music, Deezer, Spotify, Instagram, Amazon Music   

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