Tubelord - Our First American Friends

Richard Wink 24/11/2009

Rating: 4.5/5

Just when you assume that rock has recycled itself completely, another variation crawls from the sewage. Tubelord venture forth bright eyed and bushy tailed, elaborating upon the kind of Attention Deficit Rock that is currently being produced by the likes of Dananananaykroyd, Johnny Foreigner, and Hair Traffic Control. Refreshingly this variation of Rock has no agenda other than to be fun.

Everything is jittery, a sugar rush of breathless breakneck vocals, absurd melodies and guitar riffs that lick the side of your face before running down the endless spiral staircase of mischief. Tubelord have channelled lol randomness, carefree hedonism and the legal high of spontaneity and packaged it into an album that makes no bloody sense but at the same time it sounds wonderful.

'Your Bed is Kind Of Frightening' begins with the lullaby-like falsetto of “Sleep, it's over” before erupting into unparalleled joy. The song twizzles and dazzles, wandering around in Day-Glo striped pyjamas under fizzing, spitting electric pylons. If there is such a thing as a typical Tubelord song then 'Somewhere Out There A Dog is On Fire' probably represents the trio best with loud quiet / stop start rhythm shifts, and the blink and you will miss it glitchy call of “ba da bleep, ba da bleep”.

Aside from the running blindly at full pelt hectic anthems of 'Propeller and 'Night Of The Pencils' Tubelord deliver subtlety with the fragile acoustic piddle of 'Cows to the East, Cities to the West', and the intricacy of the rhythm section suddenly erupts with gusto on 'He Awoke On A Bench in Abergavenny'.

If you are looking for traditional song structures and conventional lyrics then you won't get them with Tubelord, in fact the only weakness facing this album is that you have to give it time in order for all the little secrets to reveal themselves. Fellow music journo Kev Eddy seemed to greatly miss this point when reviewing the album for Drowned in Sound.

'Infectious energy' usually refers to a band's live show, seldom can a band translate what happens in the beery, sweaty, dimly lit hotpot of a music venue onto an album, yet somehow Tubelord have managed this. The inclusion of old favourites such as 'I Am Azzerad' provides the ballast for what is an inventive debut album. Our First American Friends dances daftly and causes the listener to gleefully grin like a fat dog getting its stomach tickled.