Friday, 22 January 2016

Nine Tons - No Frills

You may remember Duncan Lovatt from the early Ten Benson.  Now he's the guitarist and vocalist with Nine Tons, alongside Yin Mo (guitar), Dylan Wake (bass) and Mark Cliff (drums).  If you liked that early TB stuff, you'll find many of its more treasured elements here, and a lot more besides.
Nine Tons gave us a preview of their No Frills debut album in the autumn with the distinctly hummable 'Every Song I Know'.  It worked a treat as a taster but didn't get anywhere near to hinting at the depth of this collection.  Opener 'Listen' offers sub-Lydon accusatory snarls atop  an uncompromising barrage of guitars: you probably can hum it, but it'll probably give you a sore throat.  The tempo doesn't drop for 'Serpent Motors', but it slides effortlessly into a compelling, anthemic country chug from somewhere else entirely.

'The Boar' is a cracking slow burner, a prowling stunner that thrills while dripping its guts all over the recording.  You feel its pain but want more, much more, and it gives.    I'll be playing 'Bullpup' in my February Dandelion Radio show - another wonkily hummable gem that you think has ended the album before an unnamed instrumental 'ghost track' drifts in at the end to offer a further reminder of how much this album enjoys messing with your preconceptions.
All of which hopefully tells you much about the irascible charm of this collection.  Its full frontal attack never wavers, while a rambunctious spirit of unpretentious enjoyment and underlying contempt for musical boundaries hold sway throughout the whole thing.  It's an absolute joy from start to finish and already one of the best things you're going to hear in 2016. Get it here

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