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Baxter Drury - Floor Show


Review: Jack Foley

BAXTER Drury follows up his acclaimed debut album, Len Parrott's Memorial Lift, with the equally accomplished Floor Show - a long-player that positively drips in style.

Narratively, it seems to be about a disintegrating relationship, although this is no dreary confessional, or lament to lost love.

Rather, it's an uplifting and frequently enchanting listen that combines some retro flavours with a laidback feel that's epitomised by the whispery vocals and floating guitar style.

The PR refers to it as 'narcotic music that predates trip hop by a good 60 years' and it's a fitting description, for this is a stoner's delight, as well as a chill out alt-rock classic in the making.

Highlights include the rousing opener, Francesca's Party, with its upbeat drum loops and whining guitar loops that recall a different era.

Or the offbeat Cocaine Man, which includes an interesting Mike Skinner-like piece of social commentary during the verses that gives way to a stoner-style chorus of soothing, whispered vocals.

Former download-only single, Lisa Said, is another beauty, featuring a semi-orchestral backdrop and more glorious guitar riffs that delight in their classic simplicity.

But the album, as a whole, feels very retro, flitting between the 60s psychedelia of The Beach Boys and The Beatles and the more modern likes of Bowie and George Harrison.

Sister Sister, in particular, manages to combine some guitar riffs right out of Harrison's songbook, while the lyrics sound like 80s-era Bowie - the chorus, especially, frequently feels as though it might veer into 'we could be Heroes, just for one day'.

The title track, too, opens with a guitar loop that recalls the heyday of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, before breaking into a vocal style that immediately suggests Super Furry Animals.

And yet the album still manages to sound distinctive enough to stand out on its own, confirming Drury and fellow band members - Damon Reece (drums) and Mike Mooney (electric guitar) - as serious performers in their own right.

Reece and Mooney were, of course, both former members of Spiritualized, so it's little wonder to find that some of the music is distinctly epic in vibe, as well as a touch spaced out or dreamy.

Some of it will probably take a few listens to properly appreciate, but for anyone willing to give into its irresistible charms, then Floor Show delivers the goods in spades.

 

Track listing:
1. Francesca’s Party
2. Cocaine Man
3. Lisa Said
4. Waiting for Surprises
5. Young Gods
6. Sister Sister
7. Floor Show
8. Cages
9. Dirty Water

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