The good thing about being introduced to independent artists is that the music you hear is, more often than not, is the music they want to play, before producers add commercially-friendly touches and long before managers talk of shifting units, the music is written and played without the worry of losing fans or losing recording deals. In short, the music is allowed to be much freer, leading to risks being taken and experiments made.
It’s fair to say that Blabbermouth have created something quite unlike anything I’ve heard before. The album has a simple idea; take a solid rhythmic foundation – taken from varying musical stlyes like World, punk, ambient, dance – and use online translation sites to ‘perform’ the lyrics. The result sits somewhere between 1990’s David Byrne, Radiohead’s ‘Fitter Happier’, the mono-tone of 80’s synth pop and European radio shows of years gone by.
I suppose the next question should be ‘is it any good?’ and the answer is yes.
The tracks all work as individual pieces with variation and the right amount of irony and humour but together it’s a masterclass in drudging the internet for the correct words, tempo and tone. It would have been easy to find a Stephen Hawking style of delivery but it avoids this, bringing in bassy, male sounds to bounce against a brighter, female tone. It’s such a good idea, it’s amazing this hasn’t been done more often.
It’s a dark soundscape, often one of dread, but there are moments of lightness here and there and, in a neat touch, final track ‘Tumbao (outro/Intro)’ acts in the same way as a film credits, naming each musician and recording information.
It’s an astonishing record from duo Lu Edmonds, who provides the guitar, saz, cumbus and backing vocals, and Mark Roberts on synth and those drum patterns that give the songs such a strong foundation.
Search it out.