The neat trick that Harry Stafford seems to pull off is that whilst he sounds slightly like a few other artists, the artists that he sounds like sound like nobody else. Not even him! I’m not even sure that’s possible but its the only way that I can describe it. I could list the most obvious sonic infusions, that Waitsian barfly cool, Nick Cave’s earlier off-kilter anthems and lyrical strangeness, David J’s semi-autobiographical narratives of the musical underground, but it doesn’t really get us that much further forward. This is one of those times when I suggest that you just skip to the end of the review and hit play.
Oh, you’re still reading. Okay, imagine Stafford’s own band Inca Babies stripping things right back, hooking up with The Gun Club in a less visceral mood and jamming out some Tenshed’s style clattering piano-punk whilst the sound of a Mariarchi band warming up in the next room drifts through the adjoining wall. And that’s not even the half of it. Like I said, go give a spin.
You want more? Okay, try this for size. Demented jazz players leading a gothic pub singalong? The soundtrack to last night’s whiskey hangover? Look, if what I have written so far hasn’t been enough to pique your interest then perhaps comfort zones are more important than discovering truly fascinating new music. I hear Liam Gallagher has a new record out, maybe you should give that a go, you will probably quite like it!