Share COME SING THESE CRIPPLED TUNES - The Cubical (High Spot/Fuse)
They look gnarly and sound even more so. Once you come to terms with the fact that not every Liverpudlian wants to be a Beatle you'll most likely want to play this one again, and again.

Yes, Dan Wilson's vocals have an uncanny resemblance to Captain Beefheart. Get over it. It's no crime. The accompaniment from the other four has a passing resemblance to "Clear Spot" Magic Band but no-one sounds like they're copying. It's swampy and bluesy in most parts, countryfied and psyched-out in others. Fans of the early Beasts of Bourbon will hear much to love.

"Crippled Tunes" opens strongly: "Great White Lie" applies some gospel spin, "Edward The Confessor" ups the twang quotient. Things don't ease up much from there.

Wilson, multi-instrumentalist Graham Gavaghan and Johnny Green's guitars are central to the sound and arguably reach an interweaving peak on "Like Me, I'm a Peacock", but there's plenty of reason to spend time with the snarl of "Poison Pen" and the acrid slide of "Woman, I Need Your Love."

The Cubical are happy to step out of the shadow of the Captain and play the game out wide. "Early Morning Creep" (props to Johnny Green's squirming harmonica) sets off deep into the country backwoods, while "Would Be Lovers" strips it right back.

For lovers of lyrics, there's enough in the tales of cuckolded men, revenge, unrequited lovers and murder to provide hours of interpretation.They're all the work of Dan Wilson so I suppose you can invite him to spend time on the couch.

Recorded in Hollywood except for one song that was committed to tape/hard drive in their hometown Liverpool, "Crippled Tunes" is the first album for The Cubical. You'd never pick it as a debut effort; it's as full of swagger as some long-running bands' third or fourth album purple patch. - The Barman

3/4

 

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