Album Review: Curry Quiche – One Seed, No Leeches

Coming out of nearby Rotherham, which is just about as close to Sheffield as you can get, are alt-rockers Curry Quiche

The band, Steve Fidler on Vocals & Guitar, Shaun Sowray on Vocals & Keys, Bassist Jonny Haynes, Adam Flannagan on Guitar and Brian Waller who (according to the band) does Drums, Mixing and is the ‘Recording Dude’, got together in 2005 and have recently released their debut album, On seed no leeches. It shows the band have pulled together a whole gambit of musical styles, from punk to Ska to Prog (no, really) to Rockabilly and Indie. They’ve pulled all these into one cohesive unit. Get ready for something new.

This whole range of musical diversity is apparent right from the off, A Social Barrier thing showing this sort of punk aesthetic with indie-funk leanings, but wait, whats this -prog? prog-punk? prog-funk-punk? Its baffling and at the same time interesting and engaging. It certainly kicks off the album at quite a rate.

Daze before the storm, again has some of these influences. But given a sort of countrybilly (does that make any sense), and the vocal delivery is smart and funny and, well, weird. It kind of reminiscent of (obscure reference) the colorblind James Experience, if anyone reading this remembers them apart from me…

One of the picks of the album comes next with Indie anthem Dry Hankerchief, showing plenty of dark ambition, more serious that the tracks that preceded it, but with enough hooks to melt your heart. It must be a live favourite, but being curry quiche it’s not as straightforward as that, delving into post-rock and even synthy pop. More evidence of this comes in next track Another World, which opens in Britpop, before morphing into Ska, with Hadouken! type keyboards in the background. It’s ambitious to say the least.

Phonaphobia is another stand out track from the album, and its a track that stays on genre’ pretty much, straight up indie rock, with just mild keyboard flirtations towards something more progressive. Its followed by the 41 second Intermission, which is just that, the gliding guitar work making it do exactly what it says on the tin.

Canklow Wall could be Vampire Weekend trying to play The Specials, this chiming guitars interweaving with Organ, to make this sort of mysterious ska sound. Again its a song that shows that these boys can pick out a tune, it being a real head-nodder right from the off. Next comes the Retail Song, with great keys a more Specials, but funky at the same time. Following on, and not for the first time, Greaseborough Tree sounds like the sort of record Elvis Costello should be making, kind of post-rock meets punk-funk (think I’ve settled on that as a description for the whole album, oh – wait, did I say ska in there?) but with a bit more bite than the great man might manage.

The End will be Televised starts with Piano, and rather a muffled sounding guitar, before giving us more sort of post-Costello style thing, soaked in equal measure in Indie Rock and Ska, but ending up sounding like neither. Love has gone with all the rest continues the theme, with the band twisting and turning from one thing to another (this time a spot of Razorlight, and maybe The Damned) the shrill keyboards giving it a sort of vaudeville feel. Reggae and Sez is, not really reggae at all, more a cornucopia (you must realise how long I’ve wanted to use that word) of things that have come before, and again, indie anthemic at its core.

The album finishes with the strong Blue Lagoon, which initially sounds like the Inspiral Carpets, but then moves into this skanky swagger. It’s a mystifying enjoyable album full of twists and turns. Curry Quiche sound like they have all the tools needed to make it, it’s just they’re trying on a whole load of different (Musical) clothes. They all fit, blend to an extent and are great, but as soon as they find the right outfit, they’re going to be world beaters.

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