Not two, not three, this trilogy has six installments. At least, that’s what the predictably unpredictable Martin Gordon declares with his latest work. ‘Include Me Out’ concludes the Mammal Trilogy, begun a decade ago by this eccentric gentleman, with the expected dose of radiant pop-rock surrealism From such exquisitely recommendable bands as Sparks, Jet and Radio Stars, Gordon (with his singular band and the magnificent vocals of Pelle Almgren) combines melodies with texts of infectious craziness worthy of Noel Coward himself. Gordon plays with parody and extravagant sounds, sharpens it with satire and ultimately creates ‘pop for adults’. The wonderfully fresh results remain, however, a secret for the general public. Such gems as ‘Gotta Go Green’, ‘No Greater Dictator’, a tribute to the legendary human billboard ‘Stanley Green’ or the obligatory Macca tune (this time, the recent and very coverable ‘Nod Your Head’) shine on an album full of optimism and good humor. Quite a rare bird in these times. A pleasure to have you back, how could it be otherwise…
Bassist/songwriter Martin Gordon is a former member of Sparks, Jet and Radio Stars, he now concludes his satirical musical journey after five volumes of his “Mammal Trilogy.” Gordon has many influences, but his music sounds like an unholy alliance of Andy Partridge, Ray Davies and NRBQ. “Gotta Go Green” is a militant anthem for the energy efficient masses cause it’s a “real no-brainer.” Some of the songs are rants like “If English was Good Enough” or “User Generated” sung with so much cynical bluster, they are ultimately novelty tunes. Much more impressive is “Stanley Green” with its horns, layered strings and rising chorus. Another fun song is “Nobody Went To The Moon” dedicated to all those conspiracy nuts who think the Moon landing is a fake. Another notable track “Call Me Anne” has solid bass line and catchy chorus, plus Gordon really rocks out on “Still Not Lovin’”, my favorite here. Martin is an acquired taste, but still a rewarding listen.
Aaron Kupferberg 7/10
Though these twelve self-produced tracks are the only part of the bass-playing veteran of Sparks and Radio Stars’ six-part Mammal Trilogy I’ve heard, they function as both separate songs and as components of an album in its own right. My present fave rave is ‘Stanley Green’, a hymn to the former civil servant who, for decades, paced daily back and forth along Oxford Street in a sandwich board that declared his creed of ‘Less Lust From Less Protein’. This, however, is but one of several startling and witty expressions of commendable sentiment framed in diverting and often quirky arrangements that involve orchestral and folk instruments as much as the expected rock instrumentation. Moreover, if no Scott Walker, Martin’s understated approach to, say, ‘No Greater Dictator’ or ‘If English Was Good Enough For Jesus’ is as loaded as the angriest vocal explosion. He’s no slouch as a keyboard player either. Finally, I must impart the raw information that physical copies of Include Me Out are limited in number, so snap one up soon.
Alan Clayson ****