Short-Haired Domestic – Short-Haired Domestic (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Short-Haired Domestic don’t make things easy on themselves. With wonderfully self-explanatory titles which range from A Song In Latin About The Importance Of Comfortable Shoes to A Song In Yoruba About Leaves, Memory And Time, they not only cover a great range of subjects with their lyrics, they deliver those lyrics in many different languages. Nine to be exact, one for each track found on this album. It might not make for an easy life but it makes for a wonderfully productive one and these songs are like little you will have heard before.

And it isn’t just the lyrics with which Tim and Lee Friese-Greene challenge themselves, musically too there are some wonderful, odd…and wonderfully odd, fusions taking place. Always groove-heavy, their songs seem to act as a pop maelstrom, a force of sonic nature which sucks in everything from funk bass lines to electronic dance moves, acoustic guitars to latin rhythms, samples and scratching and everything else you can think of. And plenty of things that you can’t.

The music seems to be inspired by the sound of the vocals and the particular tones and tastes that each language inspires. A Song in Japanese About Trying Things Out Before Committing (what a title) is wonderful blend of east meets west, echoes of the traditional sound of the orient colliding head on with the modern occident to great effect and heavily reminiscent of the sort of crazy gene-splicing that people like Wasuremono get up to.

A Song In Italian Saluting His Mother is a funky drive through downtown Naples by way of Detroit’s backroads and A Song In Bulgarian For Gin Lovers seems to blend…do you know what, I’ve run out of ways of describing the music. That’s how wonderfully unique this collection truely is. No, really, in fact unique seems like such an overused work these days that it probably doesn’t even really do things justice. But it will have to do for now until something more suitable comes along.

You will have never heard much like this before so do yourself a favour and buy this immediately, listen to it, absorb it, explore it, fall in love with it. Then you try writing a review of it, something which gets to the heart of what’s going on here. I bet you can’t. See, this journo malarky isn’t as easy as it looks, especially when bands like Short-Haired Domestic land on your desk. Damn their cotton socks.

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