The Joy of More Hogwash Reviews

Hogwah!Freak Emporium

Second album from highly creative and idiosyncratic UK post-Glam songwriter based in Germany, who burst upon us in the last three years after an almost two-decade absence in true John Howard-esque ‘Where the hell have you been?” style, and knocked our blocks off. Armed with a natural flair for melody, some of the oddest lyrics outside of Beefheart’s output, and a lead vocalist (Pelle Almgren) with a considerable range of octaves, Gordon amazes us yet again with this second album. Highlights range from the opening ‘Oh Dear What Shall We Do, Daddy Lost His Head In A Coup’ to the even stranger, ‘Her Daddy Was A Dalek, Her Mummy Was A Non Stick Frying Pan’ and a dizzying cover of the Beatles’ “Every Little Thing” (you know, the one Yes did). There’s also a song called ‘Cheap Trick’ which lays his musical influences pretty much on the line, and lyrics about Nigerian bank fraud, misogyny, being beaten by twigs (er. . OK- Ed) and so forth. You have to admire any man that decides not to attend a reunion performance of an album he appeared on 30 years ago because he was at the hairdresser’s, but in this case the bonus is that his music is of impeccable quality. One to watch out for!!

Drew Shimon


Hogwah!Expose

Bassist Martin Gordon has spent the better half of his career backing a wide array of established pop stars, from the lesser known Mael brothers (in Sparks) to Robert Palmer and Kylie Minogue. The Joy of Hogwash sees him put forth another solid collection of crafted pop tunes within a quartet configuration.

Gordon is the sole composer for most of the album except for a witty group collaboration (“Love Power”) and a harmonically skilled cover of the early Beatles, “Every Little Thing”. The opening cut of the CD’s fourteen pieces begins with an uncredited nod to the Beatles “Baby in Black” that segues into a pastiche of harmony vocals and tongue-in-cheek political commentary. Martin’s band occupies a niche not far removed from ELO or the poppier songs of Utopia (fronted by Todd Rundgren). “Land of Nod” even recalls some of the 80s pop rock territory charted by Chris de Burgh. “She Still Thinks (That We’re Still in Love)” is an upfront aggressive rocker that reminds me of the same approach used on Todd’s “Hammer in My Heart” or “Infrared and Ultraviolet”.

Lead vocalist Pelle Almgren given an excellent delivery throughout and often times sounds like Robin Zander on the Beatles track. The song “Cheap Trick” in fact is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the band of the same name. In closing, Gordon’s fondness for song craft has placed him squarely on the European radar with hopes for cracking the US not far behind.

Jeff Melton


Hogwah!I-Jamming

Humourous press releases, topical songs – and good music in the bargain. Unless you work as a music journalist, you have no idea how tedious are most press releases. Not so with ‘Former Sparks, Jet and Radio Stars composer/bassist Martin Gordon’ „ who could, admittedly, do with a more contemporary headline than one which exclusively references his 1970s resume. Still, once I got stuck into his biography, I couldn’t help but admire his self-effacing cynicism. “Upon his return to the UK,” it states, “he hit upon the considerably more lucrative concept of working for other people.” (The names are published with the witty run-on, “the list is interminable.”) After a detour with Boy George to India and Sezen Asku to Turkey, Gordon “provided bass for the 90s revival of semi-legendary proto-punks John’s Children, until they recently embarked upon the inevitable, slow walk back to the pavilion.”

After which, in what must surely be his fifties, Gordon finally hit upon the novel concept of a solo career with a 2003 album called The Baboon In The Basement. So, ok, he’s a little old to start in on solo pop stardom. But his new album The Joy Of More Hogwash is nonetheless a garden of perverse delights. After all, has anyone half his age had the smarts to write as catchy a song as ‘Oh No What Shall We Do (Daddy Lost His Head In A Coup)’ about the ‘Nigerian Internet banking scam’ we’ve all been subjected to in our In-Boxes (several times over)? Does anyone else have the balls to cover the purposefully bad ‘Love Power’ from The Producers? And is there anyone else out there using former John’s Children and very occasional Keith Moon stand-in Chris Townson as his drummer?

As with all slightly pompous, psychedelic, power pop music that tells humorous stories (imagine John Otway fronting Queen in relaxed mood and you’ve got an idea of what’s occasionally in store; otherwise the song ‘Cheap Trick’ provides a clue), the concept frequently sounds better than the reality, but still I can’t help singing along to ‘Land Of Nod’ and ‘Her Daddy Was A Dalek, Her Mummy Was A Non-Stick Frying Pan.’
Martin’s website contains enough additional useless information about Sparks, Radio Stars, John’s Children and moles (the animals, not a band) to keep you occupied for hours while you search fruitlessly for a free MP3 and an opportunity to actually buy the album.

Tony Fletcher


Hogwah!

He earned his spurs with the Mael Brothers (aka Sparks) in the mid-Seventies and then with glam/pub-rockers Jet, who became Radio Stars in the time of punk & new wave. But he didn’t only play bass. He also wrote songs. In the 80s and 90s he was a sought-after studio musician with the cream of British pop and rock, from Kylie and Boy George to Blur, Primal Scream and even the Stones. Today Martin Gordon lives in Berlin, and in Berlin and Stockholm he developed this new solo album with the help of some musical friends. 14 songs including 2 covers. All in all, well put-together pub-rock with the pop and glam factor. Somewhere in between the Fab Four and Cheap Trick.

4/5 Mike Korbik


Hogwah!i-94 Bar

Martin Gordon is the grown-up version of that smart-ass, underachieving kid who used to sit at the back of your English Comp class, grinning to himself and safe in the knowledge that he’s not only quite a few steps ahead of the rest of the class, but probably the teacher as well. Cutting his teeth in Radio Stars and Jet and joining Sparks for a brief cuppa during the creation of “Kimono My House,” it’s obvious Gordon ain’t just blowing smoke up the orifice of your choice, but the real deal.

Perhaps a little less busy than 2003’s “The Baboon In The Basement,” “Hogwash” is the second album in as many years which proves he is fully capable of knocking the competition into a cocked hat. With an approach to pop which combines big hooks, a double-take lyrical sense, and something I can’t quite put my finger on in production and arrangement that screams “1970’s,” however, it remains murky just who the competition may be. I have space cleared on my shelf for his next one, which I’m sure he’s already working on, all the while sniggering to himself…

Clarke F Paull


Hogwah!Rolling Stone Top 10 2004

No 6: The former Sparks bassist crafts clever pop that’s every bit as twisted as the best of Robyn Hitchcock, yet rocks like Cheap Trick.

Chris Rubin


Hogwah!Tip Berlin

Following his wandering years (India, Turkey) the original Sparks and Radio Stars bassist has settled in Berlin. His colourful past is stamped upon Gordon’s second solo CD – impressive, sophisticated beat music full of eccentric ideas.


Hogwah!Ugly Things

Martin Gordon – he of Sparks, Jet, Radio Stars and latter-day John’s children fame – has a new album, The Joy of More Hogwash. Gordon’s finely tuned sense of humour and instinct for smart, engaging pop hooks are rampant on tracks like ‘Daddy Lost His Head in a Coup’ and ‘Land of Nod’. There’s also a hilarious post-modern revamp of Mel Brook’s ‘Love Power’ from the Producers. The tightly-tweaked late 80’s/early 90’s production and at times Cheap Trickish power pop moves aren’t really my scene, but the entertainment quality is undeniable. More info: www.martingordon.de

Mike Stax


Hogwah!Anchorage Press

The weirdest and most delicious cover of the week? Definitely the power pop version of “Love Power” from Mel Brooks’ musical, The Producers, found on Martin Gordon’s new CD, The Joy of More Hogwash. The new album is a clever lyrical romp featuring songs about alien romance, Nigerian banking scandals, dinner party nitwits, and a nifty homage to Cheap Trick. Highly entertaining with theatrical bravado and 1980’s pop star panache, the Radiant Future Records release from the former Sparks bassist also includes another cool cover – the Beatles’ “Every Little Thing” from 1965 …

John M. James (also printed in Dayton City Paper, River Cities’ Reader and Cincinnati City Beat).


Hogwah!Gaestliste

Martin Gordon seems to really have something about quadrupeds – on his last CD there was a baboon sitting in the cellar, this time he gets his kicks from washing swine. No, to tell the truth – ‘hogwash’ means stupidity, or bullshit, and is course to be taken with a pinch of irony. This time the man, whose musical roots go back to early Sparks (30 years, in fact), gets somewhat poppier with it. Where the Baboon had it’s fair share of art- and prog-rock, this time Martin lets the choruses bawl out, with thrilling guitar riffs and tons of cool licks that come over not so much as ‘virtuoso’ but as making complete sense in context of the songs. That Martin earned his money as session musician for all sorts of people from Kylie Minogue to the Rolling Stones is easy to hear, because everything is done perfectly – but the CD has soul despite that. Not least due to Pelle Almgren’s dynamic vocals. But Gordon describes the thing best himself when he says that this is ‘pop music for grown-up people’. And anyone who can cover Mel Brooks and the Beatles on the same disc must be OK.

Ulrich Maurer


Hogwah!Swiss Records

Welcome back Mr Cynic (the Englishman lives in Germany). Martin Gordon, whose history reads like a book, gets out the strings and keys again….. Member of Sparks, Jet and Radio Stars, involved with world music and once thought of as the new bassist for the Rolling Stones, is back with pigs (the last time it was monkeys).
The Joy of More Hogwash (German: The Joy of More Pig Drink), his second solo album, is a collection of songs about Nigerian spammers, problems with modern technology, nice people, credulous people, love affairs with alines and the pious wish to return to this world. Gordon has encased these fine problems in ironic pop/rock that shakes, rattles. rolls, tickles, and irritates, but is also damn good and entertaining. Full stop!

Robert Pally


Hogwah!Goldmine

The appearance last year of Martin Gordon’s Baboon in the Basement CD served notice to many that one of the greatest British songwriters of recent years was back in town – after too long, it seemed, spent elsewhere. Now we find ourselves experiencing The Joy Of More Hogwash (Radiant Future, Germany), the former Sparks/Jet/Radio Stars/Rolling Stones (nearly) bass player’s second solo album, and it is a joy, indeed, to report that the hogwash is confined only to the title.

Instead, and as one would hope, the remainder of the album is dedicated to such time- and Gordon- honored pursuits as the politically prurient “(Oh No, What Shall We Do) Daddy Lost His Head In A Coup,” the heart-rendingly romantic “She Still Thinks (That We’re In Love)” and the science-fiction inclined “Her Daddy Was A Dalek, Her Mummy Was A Non-Stick Frying Pan,” a title that Gordon unashamedly borrowed from the first Quiet Sun album (“Mummy Was An Asteroid, Daddy Was A Small, Non-stick Kitchen Utensil”), but a musical masterpiece that the mid-70s prog rockers would have been proud to build a few arpeggios around.
Is it a better album than its predecessor? That is for your own ears to decide. But Gordon’s own talent for twisting the utterly unexpected out of absolutely any idea that presents itself remains as sharp and keen as ever, and the only question one can really ask is, if this is The Joy Of More Hogwash, where can we find the rest?

Dave Thompson


Hogwah!Westzeit

Pop music for grown-ups – the happiness and the silliness. Light, airy, swinging – problem-free good mood dirt without clouds. Slade, Oasis, the Beatles (especially Ringo), the ex-Sparks bassist/arrangement-expert Gordon is back in his own cosmos after a long time working with other artists (Kylie Minogue, Boy George, Blur…). The Joy of More Hogwash will not disappoint.

*** Ralf G. Poppe (If anyone understands “Problemfreie Gute-Laune-Mucke ohne Trübsal”, just let us know..).


Hogwah!AllMusic

It’s not every veteran British musician who goes from sitting in with the Rolling Stones and playing with pop legends (Boy George, George Michael, Robert Palmer) to becoming a post-punk humorist, but Gordon does it with spunk, wit and some keen vocal harmonies and edgy guitar grooving. The one-time bassist for the eccentric pop bands Sparks and Jet (later, Radio Stars) offers playful commentary on finances among foreign leaders (“Oh No, What Shall We Do? Daddy Lost His Head in a Coup”), a blithe view of an impossible utopia (“Land of Nod”), and the difficulties of coming to terms with modern technology (the way too infectious “Plug and Play”).

The only drawback is that the heavy production can sometimes obscure the spirited lyrics surrounding such ideas as “Her Daddy Was a Dalek, Her Mummy Was a Non-Stick Frying Pan.” Many of the tracks have a playful and dreamy 60’s vibe to them, a concept typified by the inclusion of a raucous arrangement of The Beatles’ “Every Little Thing.” Gordon also includes a new wavey version of “Love Power,” the idealistic audition piece from the Mel Brooks film The Producers. Gordon is clearly a serious musician, but he’s all but begging us not to take him (or life) too seriously here.

Jonathan Widran


Hogwah!Toronto Tandem

Remember when pop wasn’t a dirty word? Well, bassist/producer Martin Gordon’s entry into the pop world dates from that era, when he debuted on Sparks’ Kimono My House album before forming Jet and Radio Stars. Now Gordon is back to pop with a fun response to all the bull coming at you from the media and these days your personal computer. Like those scam emails from families of deposed Africa civil servants lampooned in “(Oh No, What Shall We Do?) Daddy Lost His Head In A Coup” – a power-pop jewel that shines like one of Robyn Hitchcock’s Beatles -inspired ditties. Google Gordon for more goodies.

Chris Twomey


Hogwah!Livets Goda

Englishman Martin Gordon got his big break as bassist in Sparks and participated on their classic album KMH. Since then he has led bands like Jet and Radio Stars, worked as producer, song writer and bass player in many different contexts. But not until last year did he finally release his first solo album the critically acclaimed The Baboon In The Basement. The disc was full of smart pop along the lines of the Beatles, 10cc, XTC etc. Now Gordon returns with an even better album. Like last time it’s Swede Pelle Almgren who handles the lead vocal duties, and he does it with honour. The end result is outrageously humoristic, melody driven and creative power pop with funny but not unserious lyrics. It’s all very solid and you’ll discover new gems at each listen.

Anders Lundquist


Hogwah!The Trip

Very cool stuff. Fits in nicely with some of the progressive-pop I occasionally play, so it’s a very nice addition to The Trip Library. Might just make it a feature album on my show this fall. Very sophisticated and definitely deserving of air play. This is my first exposure to Martin’s work and I must say it’s particularly nice to hear some good, straight ahead singing in a somewhat progressive context. (Not enough prog groups out there with good vocalists these days!) The overall groove of “The Joy of Hogwash” is wonderful, and Martin’s observational skills and sense of humor give the lyrics tremendous impact. Slightly old-school at times, but that’s part of what makes it “pop music for grown-up people.

Clay Gaunce


Hogwah!Midwest Record Recap

Starting out a jillion years ago as a skewed popster, Gordon has provided the muscle behind everyone since and has filled your ears more than you realize. Now, with this only his second solo album, he makes music on his own for people that want to go their own way and don’t realize how many like minded music fans are out there. A perfect set for the Internet age since the majors won’t know how to make it fit the format, Gordon shows he’s more than just a good natured journeyman with a fantastically left-field set that will knock aging rock fans off their walkers. Fun, solid stuff throughout that consistently is on the money.

Chris Spector


Hogwah!Shindig

After more than a decade as sideman, session man and songwriter, this is the second new release from Martin Gordon in a year. Although Martin probably regards his stints in Sparks, Jet and Radio Stars as prehistory, there is a clear link to his previous bands – hook-happy, accessible and literate pop.
This album was recorded in Sweden and Germany with the same guys who played on the well-received The Baboon In The Basement. Martin follows the same approach as he did in Radio Stars, being the main songwriter, bassist and keyboard player, leaving the lead vocals to Pelle Almgren. Almgren is in the fine tradition of “clean” sounding power pop vocalists that seem to emerge effortlessly from every Swedish town (This Perfect Day, Eggstone, The Wannadies, etc etc).

Martin writes all the tunes apart from ‘Every Little Thing’, a mop-top favourite, and a good version of ‘Love Power’ from Mel Brooks The Producers. On first hearing the witty and intelligent themes and lyrics are often secondary to the catchy, meaty modern pop arrangements. The opening song, ‘Oh No What Shall We Do, Daddy Lost His Head In a Coup’, is a case in point. The snappy hooks make it hard to notice the song is actually about Nigerian Internet banking scams. The lyrical content becomes more obvious on repeated plays. I particularly like ‘Her Daddy Was A Dalek’, about the perils of romantic involvement with aliens, and ‘Stop The World ( I Want To Get Off)’. One song is homage to one of Gordon’s favourite bands, ‘Cheap Trick’, whose influence can be heard on a number of these tunes. 10cc and Todd Rundgren were also an inspiration, but this is much more than a list of influences.

Phil Suggitt


Hogwah!Pop Culture Press

Martin Gordon’s last CD, The Baboon in the Basement, was one of my ten favorite albums of 2003, and his new one, out in August, is every bit as good. Gordon was the bassist/arranger for Sparks’ finest album, Kimono My House, has played with The Radio Stars, the Rolling Stones, Kylie Minogue, Blur, George Michael, and John’s Children. He’s got the same top-notch all-star band as the last time out (his Swedish lead singer Pelle Almgren sounds uncannily similar to and as good as Robin Zander of Cheap Trick). Lyrically, the album’s as smart and hilarious as the last one.

Among the standout tracks is “Oh No What Shall We Do (Daddy Lost His Head in a Coup) about those Nigerian 419 email letters we all get in our email (and check out www.martingordon.de, where Gordon has actually posted all the emails he sent back and forth to the scammer, deliberate pidgeon English and all). “Cheap Trick” is (as he puts it) “…an homage to one of Gordon’s favorite groups … Sheep Trick….” Add to that songs about modern technology and romantic flings with aliens, and well, speaking for myself, you can’t have too much humour and sarcasm in music. There’s also a terrific cover of the Beatles 1964 track “Every Little Thing.” Musically it’s still very sophisticated glam rock/pop music, echoing the aforementioned Sparks album, Cheap Trick, and Queen, pretty much in equal portions. Instantly catchy, way smarter than it has to be, and simply top-notch. Once again, Martin Gordon has hit a home run; this is another fantastic album.

Kent H. Benjamin


Hogwah!Fufkin

Last year, Martin Gordon resurfaced as an auteur. The former Sparks bass player, and the songwriter behind Jet (the band with two members of John’s Children) and Radio Stars (the other band with two members of John’s Children), showed on “Baboon In The Basement” that his work as a session man, collaborator and producer of artists the world over had not swayed him from his original mission: to write and play witty rock and roll songs. Now, it also gives him an opportunity to plaster his mug on album covers and show that he’s aged even better than the Mael brothers he loves to tweak and torment. Hey, we can all have more than one agenda.

Gordon has reconvened the excellent band that he formed for his first solo disc. John’s Children/Jet/Radio Stars drummer Chris Townson, singer Pelle Almgren and guitarist Andy Reimer shine again on what is pretty much a perfect companion to the last disc.

The catchy songs are a platform for Gordon’s bemused and skewed take on the world. His lyrics generally are either silly for the sake of being silly, or silly in service of some smart observations on the human condition. When an artist is just being silly, the risk is that the music will be likewise jokey and thin, and that the jokes themselves will not even sustain the length of the tune. To put it another way, if you can make a song titled “Her Daddy Was a Dalek (Her Mummy Was A Non-Stick Frying Pan)” work, you know what you’re doing.
Martin Gordon knows what he’s doing. First, the band pulls their weight — the song is widescreen pop that falls somewhere between Roxy Music/Sparks glam and the drama of David Bowie and Duran Duran. Nothing is slack in the playing and Almgren sings with conviction. And Gordon milks the interplanetary love premise for all its worth, while still treating the high concept in a relatively straightforward manner. So what could have been a novelty song is a crackin’ good pop tune, albeit not one that will be heard at weddings, at least until we make further advances in space exploration.

Now, psychologists might speculate that Gordon has broader father issues, noting that he leads the album off with another ‘daddy’ tune — “Daddy Lost His Head in a Coup”. However, a deeper look at the song shows that it was inspired by one of those internet hoax letters that asks poor saps (or rather saps with a little scratch) to wire some lucre which will allow for the release of funds from the headless daddy’s estate. Again, in the wrong hands, this song would not work — but Gordon’s lyrics are economical and funny. Reimer’s guitar playing is a highlight, not because it’s flashy (though he can be as flashy as you like), but because it colors things so well — the George Harrison jangle in the chorus, the beefy playing in the verses, his delicate work in the middle eight and topping it off with a triumphant solo that reiterates the primary melody of the song.
Colorful would be a great word to describe this disc — both musically and lyrically. Sometimes it’s the little things. Like Almgren throwing a little Elvis Presley vibrato in a line of “She Still Thinks (That We’re in Love”. Or Reimer showing for the second title cut in the a row that he is capable of Adrian Belew-like inventiveness. Sometimes it’s the big things. Waxing “Love Power”from the movie “The Producers” is a brilliant stroke, as the lyrical sensibility of the song is on all fours with Gordon’s worldview. Moreover, the band makes it work as a rock song, and anyone not familiar with the original would be hard pressed to suss out how the movie version sounded.

Speaking of Gordon’s worldview, he gets to vent his spleen (and what a large spleen it must be) on “Stop The World (I Want to Get Off)”. Gordon takes a vocal turn in the verses, unleashing a barrage of complaints in what might be a resume tape for a spot on Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park. Quite frankly, if the United States ever had a serious third political party, it could do a lot worse than incorporating some of Gordon’s beefs into its platform: “I’ve had enough talent contests for the criminally unskilled/enough edutainment, entermation, casting TV shows, content-free investigations”. Almgren takes over in the chorus, spelling out the problem: “Got too much information/and I want less of it.” Amen!

Of course, one of the problems with being a smart aleck, is that it’s hard to tell when the guy’s being serious. But on “Round And Round We Go” and “Land of Nod”, you can see that for all of the biting wit and Menckenesque observation, like most pessimists, Gordon actually hopes for something better in this world. He doesn’t necessarily expect it, but would like it. “Round” is the prettiest song on the record, with fine backing vocals and a soothing melody, and contemplates man’s basic insignificance in the scheme of things. The softer music creates a strong sense of empathy. On “Nod”, which immediately hooked me in with Reimer’s playful lead guitar line, Gordon proposes his version of Shangri-La, where there’s no discord and everyone gets along. Near the end of the song, Gordon gets off what I think is a wonderful line: “No reason to feel covetous/‚cos everything is mine.” In the context of the song, that is so Zen — in a peaceful world where everyone is good to each other, then you would have everything. But I’ll stop there, because I feel like I’m blowing his cover.

This may be even better than Gordon’s first solo album. He and his bandmates are thoroughly in sync. The songs evoke Gordon’s past bands, with bits of power pop and music hall and plain old rock and roll all mixed in. Everything is catchy and memorable. Has hogwash ever sounded more joyful?

Mike Bennett


Hogwah!i-94 Bar

Well, another miserable year on this dismal rock has come and gone and everyone’s favorite wart on the ass of progress (and I mean that in the most complimentary fashion imaginable) Martin Gordon, is back with another impossibly great masterpiece of pathos, social commentary, and hard, polished pop. Getting monotonous, innit? Following less than a scant twelve months after the release of 2003’s cocksure “The Baboon In The Basement,” “The Joy Of More Hogwash” is another glimpse into the psyche of a man standing back and observing this world’s downward spiral while taking care not to get sucked into the vortex. Album opener “Oh No What Shall We Do (Daddy Lost His Head In A Coup)” is flush with the rousing sound of a killer, sweeping chorus that only something like the Nigerian internet banking swindle can inspire. And despite an opening verse of “You can touch me everywhere/Run your fingers through my hair/Rummage through my underwear/See what you find,” songs with the lushly arranged, upside-down Roxy Music stylings of “Fuss Me” were never meant to answer the questions of the universe.

Ditto “Her Daddy Was A Dalek, Her Mummy Was A Non-Stick Frying Pan,” a Bonzo Dog-esque titled tale of inter-planet love with an ascending chorus and filled with anthemic euphoria. “Plug ‘n’ Play,” powered by the choppy guitar of Andy Reimer and a Pelle Almgren lyrical delivery that positively reeks of sneer, is a knuckle-cracker that would probably send Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen and Robin Zander scurrying for the corners of a blank white room. Which may explain why that band’s management was aghast when a review of “Baboon” called it “the best Cheap Trick CD since the 80s.” Touchy…

The final “Baboon” holdover, drummer Chris Townson, holds things together with an impeccable sense of timekeeping honed by years staring at the backs of Jimi Hendrix and various members of Jet, John’s Children, and The Who. The band’s hypnotically shimmering take on “Love Power” from Mel Brooks’ cult wonder “The Producers” was recorded in the same Berlin studio from which Josef Goebbels spoke to the masses about peace, love, and understanding. And on analogue 2-inch tape no less!

“Hogwash’s” finale, “Stop The World” (“…I want to get off/That’s it for me I’ve had enough”) may be the closest thing Gordon comes to a grand statement; Almgren’s harmonies a thing of beauty, Townson providing the machinelike propulsion, Reimer firing on all fours, and the man himself ranting and crying for mercy from a world packed to bursting with “boybands, white hip-hoppers, lifestyles of the rich and brain dead,” and “hysterics in Hollywood who wouldn’t know culture from the rear end of a dead dodo.” A man after my own heart who, if you didn’t know better, you’d swear was living in America instead of Berlin.

Like he did with “Baboon,” Gordon once again handles the production and arrangement chores and somehow manages to satisfy those who prefer their pop music full of slick surfaces as well as those who enjoy a bit of crunchy, sonic roughage in their diet. I think I sense a crack in the facade, though. He actually shares songwriting credits on “Fuss Me” with Almgren and Pelle Andersson.

If the nimble, fuzz-stomp arrangements and writing Gordon is quickly building a reputation on could be correctly harnessed, they could light our cities. In a more perfect world, radio would be awash with the parade of tight, smart gems he has crafted for “The Joy Of More Hogwash” instead of reverberating with the unmistakable sound of millionaires’ pension plans being topped-up. His wry observations on culture (pop and otherwise) are delivered with tongue firmly planted in cheek and his knack for sardonic, paper-cut sharp lyrics, adrenalized pop hooks, and grinning, gibbering genius is as dependable as the tides. Get your wallet out.

5 Beers – Clarke F Paull