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18 February 2015

Frank Sumatra and the Mob - 'Te Deum' (Small Wonder)

I forgot I had this! One of the side effects of releasing a record with no spine (a 12" single, in fact) is that I rarely remember to listen to it, as it gets skipped upon all casual eye-browses of the shelf. This is a delight, a one-off 12" by 'Frank Sumatra' which is an alias of John Pearce, aka Alig Fodder from the great Family Fodder who we reviewed just earlier up the alphabetical ladder. 'The Story so Far' is the more European pop side of Fodder's work, an arpeggiated, falsetto-sung bit of demented romance. Fodder's affect is in full force and he has some pipes on him! Backing vocals form an unknown female vocalist imply that 'The Mob' is just Family Fodder in a different configuration. By the end it stumbles into a messy cave, and collapses on itself, though not without some lovely twinkling bells. Track 2 is a goofy send-up of Joe Meek's 'Telstar', sounding like it's being performed on a synthesizer over the telephone while choppy guitar and woodblock accompany it. Perhaps the torch of interesting production techniques burns on. On the flip we get the one true 'hit' from this record (though I doubt anyone ever actually heard it).  'Tedium' could be right off a Family Fodder record - a destroyed pop song with bouncy bassline and beautiful riff-hook, with some extramusical forays into squelchy guitars and synthesizer madness. It never falls apart, nor does it even threaten to - it's a slice of pop magic and the way things oughta be. Pure experimentalism is reserved for 'The Blues', which is all studio fuckery and suggestion, sounding like that TUOB 7" a decade+ prior, and you don't get to compare things to TUOB very often.

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