Release Date: Feb 10, 2015
Record label: Outsider Music
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Film Music, Neo-Glam
After seven wildly different albums in seven years, it’s become quite apparent that Luke Haines has no desire to revisit the updated glam meets Go-Betweens with a sinister edge of his cruelly labeled Britpop band, The Auteurs. Haines may have never received the instant name recognition of some of his peers, but his inability to compromise or reunite his old band means his body of work remains unsullied, a near-perfect collection of expert songwriting and nearly unparalleled storytelling. Even his most Auteurs-esque release, the Cathal Coughlin and Andrew Mueller collaboration The North Sea Scrolls, carried the obscure referencing and ‘70s obsessing of Haines’ most current solo releases.
Evidently uninterested in creating anything but obscure thematic works, British ex-pat Luke Haines delivers Adventures in Dementia: A Micro Opera, his fourth consecutive concept album in four years. Whether writing about wrestlers (2011's Nine and a Half Psychedelic Meditations on British Wrestling of the 1970s and Early '80s), fairy tale animals bearing the names of rock icons (2013's Rock and Roll Animals), or rock icons themselves (2014's New York in the '70s), Haines' aptitude for trenchant wit, cultural observations (pop and otherwise), and nurturing his inherent eccentricity remains unparalleled. While billed as a "Micro Opera," this brief six-song set is essentially an EP that clocks in at just under 15 minutes in length.
Billed as a “micro opera” (and performed as such on the continent in recent months) Haines’ latest skewed, cutting view of the world finds a Mark E Smith impersonator en route to a caravan holiday crashing his knackered car into Skrewdriver frontman, Ian Stewart’s vehicle… We’re not making this up. Haines is. And, underneath the wacky, slightly disjointed narrative lay five of Haines’ most satisfying songs of recent years (and an unnecessary kazoo version of Jerusalem).