Saturday, 6 July 2013

Review of ‘Mr. Cocking’s Descent’ by the Green Circles (Off The Hip Records)

Australia’s finest, the Green Circles, are back with their fourth studio album, ‘Mr. Cocking’s Descent’, and what a fine collection of delights it is.

The Adelaide boys kick matters off with ‘I Can’t See The Day’, which, as always with a Green Circles album, gets things off to a great start. The next track up is the chunky, ‘Time Comes’, with its new wave aural leanings. ‘I’ll Give You Thanks’ slows the pace down a little, but is a beautiful song and shows the versatility of these boys.

Track 4 is ‘Flown’ which begins with a Spanish influenced acoustic guitar before a very tight and menacing bass line and drum pattern joins in, creating something from an imaginary spy film soundtrack. It shouldn’t work, but somehow it does – big style. ‘Because’, with its choppy guitar and harmonica riff comes across like something from the first Housemartins album (which is no bad thing) whilst ‘Tin Toy’ with its late sixties organ sound is a big, big, song which surely must be the centre-point of their current ‘live’ set.

‘Baby You Flirt’ has a kind of Mod revival band styling to it and I could imagine this as an out take from ‘Mods Mayday ‘79’ (if ‘live’) or ‘Uppers on the South Downs’. Showing a great versatility of style, the Green Circles then hit us with ‘Martin’s Wild’, a fantastic instrumental with the influence of The Prisoners hanging large and a sax thrown in for good measure – awesome.

‘Where’s Charlie’ is absolutely hilarious (there’s a bit of ‘Carry On’ humour in there), incredibly catchy, and I am sure this would be a hit single if released (and if it was picked up by the radio stations). It’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face. An absolute classic.

Another candidate for a single A-side is the next song, ‘Semaphore Girl, which is powerful and contains a great hook line. You’ll soon be singing along to this. And all too soon we are at the end of the album with track 11, ‘Watermelon Sugar Blues’, but you won’t blink and miss this one – it’s 12 & ½ minutes long. Think of ‘The End’ by The Doors but overlay this with a fabulously catchy organ riff and here you have a great song – so good actually that it is hard to believe, when listening, that it is longer than 4 or 5 minutes.

To summarise, ‘Mr. Cocking’s Descent’ is another great release from down under heroes, the Green Circles, and well worth you searching out.

Paul Hooper-Keeley

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