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Review: 'Sager, Gareth'
'Maelstrom In The Bare Garden'   

-  Label: 'Last Night From Glasgow/Creeping Bent Organization'
-  Genre: 'Indie' -  Release Date: '12.5.22.'

Our Rating:
This new album by Gareth Sager is about as different an album, from last year's Ghost Ship Trance Lamentations, as you could get from one artist. Gareth is best known for being in The Pop Group with the late great Mark Stewart whose memory I dedicate this review too. He was also in Rip Rig And Panic and Head. This album is his latest collaboration with the Creeping Bent Organization and their good friends at Last Night From Glasgow.

The a-side bursts into life with Ignite Me and odd wonky pop plea for love that blasts off with some deep brass set against fey funky guitar lines, eventually this goes a little bit dubby and weird.

They're Playing Kraftwerk In The Coffee Shop is a delightful indie pop song, the first single on the album, about the weird happenstance of hearing cutting edge music like Kraftwerk, while buying your soy matcha latte, this has loads of vocal effects, some synth as well as the feeling, that they'd love you to be singing along to this.

Jack Data Dracula sounds like he's a cousin of Jack Hashtag, this is a stomping insistent song with strained vocals questioning the nightmares of the data society, the guitar freaks out as you find out you've been data mined and fraped again, it's like they follow your every move and breath.

Sister Tears is whisp like vocals encased in an insistent beat with fluid guitar lines flowing around the beat.

Get Yourself A Lifebuoy takes us back to that Ghost Ship, only this sounds more like he's hanging out with Robert Lloyd and has taken the rest of the anchor for this slightly paranoid song, as the guitars stab at your brain, before the vocals go all cartoon, followed by an odd spoken word ambient fade out.

The B-side opens with Cold Cold Chill where the strings scrape against the ice, as this asks some odd question of someone you met in a very chilly bar, are they ghosting you or just putting you on ice as a better prospect has just sat down next to them.

Clapped Out On Cricklewood Broadway is certainly set in the 1980's or so, not now as the Broadway is far too sanitized these days, this has a fraught psychobilly cramps feel in parts, as he sings about my local area that apparently contains a beatnik heaven, probably close to where The Galtymore used to be, or was it the long gone Hoggs Grunt, before the church organ plays over the outro.

Guru Lover seduces you with bright indie pop twanging guitars and a theremin freak out, as he searches for the entrance to a more tender universe, that's certainly nowhere near Cricklewood Broadway.

Friendly Fire is about all sorts of shenanigans that happen at the local pick up joint, the types of trouble you're likely to get into down there, if you chat up the wrong person, on this bruised song that references Jack Kerouac in a wonderfully understated way.

The album closes with Tiny Mary's Balero To Go a good insistent blast across the indie club dancefloor for this instrumental.

Find out more at https://shop.lastnightfromglasgow.com/products/gareth-sager-maelstrom-in-the-bare-garden?_pos=1&_sid=2407cb56d&_ss=r

  author: simonovitch

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