Release Date: Feb 16, 2015
Record label: PIAS
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
For a collection of average guys from the Midlands, who first grabbed our attention at the height of the landfill indie era, The Wave Pictures have proved themselves to possess an unlikely degree of staying power. Since they signed to Moshi Moshi and released Sophie back in 2006, their back-catalogue has grown lengthy and is crammed full of collaborations and tours with the likes of Daniel Johnson, Jeffrey Lewis and The Mountain Goats. On this score, at least, the band show no sign of breaking the habit of a lifetime.
There’s something very satisfying about The Wave Pictures’ steady rise to prominence. Over the course of 12 albums and umpteen EPs and singles, the Leicestershire band have refined their craft while remaining a reliable constant on the UK’s live circuit, building a devoted fanbase. Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon is another collection that showcases the band’s strengths: Dave Tattersall’s winning way with a pithy short-story of a lyric, and hook-laden songs punctuated by bursts of savage lead guitar.
Reliable indie institution The Wave Pictures return with what must be their two-thousandth album, having made more-or-less one a year since early in the last millennium. In 2013 they gave us their double-CD opus City Forgiveness, which was brilliant if a little bit over-stretched. Last year saw them cover Daniel Johnston’s Artistic Vice in its entirety, note for note, because why the hell not? Back in the fourth century they made a garage-rock concept album about bronze foundries.
A few natural preconceptions come with facing an album entitled ‘Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon’. The Wave Pictures’ eighth official full-length is a collaborative effort with legendary author, painter, poet, singer, pretty-much-anything-you-throw-at-him, Billy Childish, one of the London three-piece’s all-time heroes, and is, front to back, as bonkers as all of this suggests. For the writing and recording process, the band used nothing but Childish’s own 1960s musical equipment, and this level of back-to-basics production has an overbearing impact on the sound of ‘Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon’.
The Wave Pictures have a gift for making art of life’s cutting room floor. Fronted by David Tattersall, a sharp songwriter with crafty rhymes and a bullied-schoolboy vibrato, the trio has subsisted on the periphery of British indie for over a decade. While they hew to a one-take, soundbites-and-solos setup, their frequent output has been diverse enough to keep you checking in: Last year they released two quietly charming records, a collaboration with Herman Dune’s Stanley Binks and a full-LP cover of Daniel Johnston’s Artistic Vice.
Since forming in Wymeswold, Leicestershire in 1998, The Wave Pictures have promiscuously swapped labels and collaborating artists, whilst genre-hopping all along the way, to the extent that it feels hard for a newcomer to pin them down easily. With this is mind, joining up with eccentric garage-rock purist Billy Childish feels like both a logical progression link in The Wave Pictures’ career chain and an attempt to create an accessible entry point. Fully embracing Childish’s vintage recording aesthetics (as well as letting him co-write and add guest guitar) certainly gives the Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon a raw emphatic delivery without sacrificing the trio’s knack for wry songwriting.
You know about the big releases each week, but what about those smaller albums which may have passed underneath your radar. Don’t miss out on the smaller, lesser-known gems which might become some of your favourites. We’ve rounded up seven of the best new album releases from this week: discover ….