Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Blabbermouth - Me And The Metronome

Hobgoblin Records

Released August 30

It’s with a whisper of excitement that Blabbermouth’s new album has arrived.

The anticipation for Steve Thompson’s long player is not without foundation either, after honing his abilities between the moments his guitar wasn’t pawned to cover rent and utilities, heads have been bowed to get a good look in on this London based singer/songwriter.

After last year’s release of the superb single ‘I Return’ it seems that Thompson has crafted himself into one of the most respected folksters in the capital with acclaimed performances at the Crawley Folk Festival while creating the stuff of You Tube legend at Sidmouth Folk Festival and getting snapped up by Hobgoblin Records to release ‘Me And The Metronome’.

Thompson starts in familiar territory, using the aforementioned ‘I Return’ (re-mixed to accentuate the more haunting and larger moments of the song) to open the album and follows with more beguiling heart-felt folk.

The likes of ‘Agoraphobia’ (“but there’s a light outside, representing all that’s right, in you, that I see, in you”) and ‘Paris’ (“it’s true, what you said, we’re better off in Paris, than dead”) accentuate all that’s right about Blabbermouth and begins to lead you to believe you’re onto something truly special before the album highlight of ‘Death Of A Songwriter’ (I’ve gone, but I live on and I’m sorry for the burden of my song”) makes you convinced of this fact.

Sadly for us, and Blabbermouth, this just isn’t the case.

It starts going horribly wrong in the pretty shit ‘My Life As A Cat’ which you can quite frankly imagine a purple dinosaur singing along to with a sickening smile that just doesn’t ever leave his face. A favoured approach for Thompson is to sing from another perspective, a ghost for example, and he seems to have taken this notion too far as he sings: “My life as a cat, that’s where it’s at, all that I need is to sleep, breed and feed,” which can’t be even be saved by the sweet sentiment: “My life as a cat, that’s where it’s at, I don’t cheat and I don’t lie and you won’t ever hear me say goodbye. Not until I die,” which isn’t true in all fairness, cats can be sneaky fuckers.

It’s not all downhill from here, ‘Don’t Wanna Go Home’ sits up there with the album’s best but there are fairly comedic moments in ‘Keith’s Been Conned Again’ where Thompson flicks between his normal singing and a cockney accent while In ‘Chicken’ he sings: “I don’t mind if it’s roasted, oven grilled or fried. I go for legs or chicken breast, wings or chicken thighs.” Madness.

Without wanting to get carried away in talks of part genius part mentalist it’s fair to say that this album is a mixed bag, with the best songs all crammed into the first third of the 15 tracks . Blabbermouth hasn’t completely missed the mark here and I want to like this more, you just can't help but feel that at least five of these tunes could be health endangering radio jingles that would be lucky to see that back of a b-side album.


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