Shorty before releasing their critically acclaimed second album It Ain’t Human, The Cubical were asked by Spanish vinyl label Grabaciones de Impacto if they would like to record a 4 track reel to reel session at Lightning Recorders Studio in Berlin with a view to releasing whatever was captured as a mini album. They certainly didn’t need asking twice and off they went with a batch of freshly written songs to try out. What came out of that intense twelve hour session, fuelled on a not insignificant amount of Dunkel and Leibfraumilch, was added to a four hour session using the same process in Liverpool to create the long player ARISE CONGLOMERATE.
The album is a work of contrasts with irresistibly catchy numbers such as the horn driven soul of On The Weekend and the perfect 60s pop of 1,2,3 Girl superbly complemented by the eerie tremolo of Daily Grind and Down The World We Go and the gorgeous The Dividing Line. The driving garage blues on tracks like It Ain’t Human, Lay your Love Down and Horrible Conglomerate find The Cubical at their raucous best with lead guitarist Alex Gavaghan and rhythm man Johnny Green’s twanging telecasters innately snaking around lead singer Dan Wilson’s trademark blues growl as Mark Percy and Craig Bell’s rhythm section incessantly pound away underneath it all. Fantastic musicianship permeates the whole album as the two guitars weave in and out of each other for fun and some of the drumming is jaw droppingly impressive. Swampy minor chord blues like the piano driven Old Idiot, the scathing Moron Culture and the epic Blue Blue Sky add to the drama and space of the whole album which gives Wilson the perfect platform for his typically dark and witty observations which, although cloaked in the usual layers of subterfuge, seem to comment, mock and point the finger more than on the previous records. Wilson may have one of the dirtiest voices around but he’s more than just a one trick pony: He goes from sounding like a man possessed on stompers like Horrible Conglomerate to achingly fragile on the gentle Down The World We Go and bitter old romantic on Prisoner Of Our Love. Whatever mood he’s in, he’s taking us with him and it’s pretty difficult not to enjoy the ride.
Recorded to four tracks with the tape hiss and mistakes left in, in contrast to the more studied It Ain’t Human, Arise Conglomerate is pretty much a live album with each track recorded in one or two takes. What results is a sometimes raucous, sometimes gentle, always brilliant live studio document of The Cubical at work.
The Cubical – ‘Arise Conglomerate– Released 19th Nov 2012
Tracklisting: On The Weekend / Daily Grind / It Ain't Human / The Dividing Line / Prisoner Of Our Love / Old Idiot / Down The World We Go / 1,2,3 Girl / Blue Blue Sky / Moron Culture / Loved But One Woman / Horrible Conglomerate / Lay Your Love Down
released November 19, 2012
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