Just as the weird folk movement, a genre that unfortunately appears to be losing steam, intrigued even the most jaded palettes with its oft bafflingly cool conflations of multiple modes no one would previously have dared to blend, so too modern popsters are experimenting with timbral shifts and contrasts, modes and tempos, not to mention understructures in ways that are advancing the form in ways that, say, Rupert Hine and William Lyall worked towards but never quite achieved while nonetheless crafting highly attractive and sometimes offbeat work. Sick Friend is an odd blend of old Sparks, early T. Rex, first release Split Enz, the krautische crowd, and similar others (Fans of Twilley, Holland, etc. will dig 'em as well), and they, in duet mode no less, have emitted one of these NuPop CD's that provoke a sharp head tilt as you listen.
The choice of cartoonist Lea Heinrich's way cool cartoon artwork was a good one, a style recalling Rick Grashow in a Lynd Ward / Steele Savage / Chester Brown fashion while mirroring the effulgent atmospheres erected by Sick Friend, pools, seas, oceans, and miniature worlds of quirky time signatures, multi-layered modes, and pop translucence. Woodland fairies, commuting yuppies, bullet trains, lurking dragons, and old Saturday morning Scoobies and Magillas come out to dance and mingle in the electronicized lo-beat symphonized terraces and promenades. In fact, I've the lurking suspicion that Patrick and Eugene (here #5971) will be taking a tab or two of acid to get into the mutant vibe here, Sick Friend a kindredly but way strange cousin to the brilliant pair. Must be something to this duet pop gig thing, I think, something that forces cerebellular activity to go into overdrive outside established norms…but, then, who the hell wants to be normal?
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles