The Moles – Tonight’s Music (Fire Records)
A brilliant restatement of alternative rock values from Richard Davies and friends, the first new music in too many years following 2014’s superb retrospective compilation Flashbacks and dream sequences.
It’s a sprawling 24 track opus full of fuzzy or jangly guitars, searching lyrics with a cut up sensibility and a restless garage band spirit.
The tone is refreshingly antsy with a core of the band’s 80s Flying Nun jangly/droney roots (‘Beauty Queen of Watts’, ‘Artificial heart’, ‘Needle and thread’, ‘Slings and arrows’) with some 90s US GBV-ish offshoots (‘You’re in my band’, ‘Highbury & Islington’) and Flaming Lips style weirdness (‘Strange summer’).
Interspersed among the killer tunes are doodles, jam room excerpts and interludes which resemble beat poetry fed through a punk or lo fi filter. ‘Highbury & Islington’ in particular seems to be an attempt to find the Shakespearean subplot in a tube journey among rival Spurs and Arsenal fans (Montagues and Capulets).
The killer tunes are memorable – the beautifully bittersweet ‘Beauty Queen of Watts’, the chiming slowburn of ‘Chills’, the one note intensity of ‘Needle and thread’, the summery fuzz of 'Dreamland', the inspiring post punk of ‘Damien Lovelock’.
All in all, it’s a very very beautiful thing.