With a name like Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon, you would expect The Wave Pictures’ incredible 14th studio album to be quite exuberant. But really, Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon is less bells and whistles and more straight talking Bluesy Rock. The Wave Pictures have taken a modernist blues sound and mixed it with lyrical subject matter that speaks to a current audience, but with a sprinkling of Sixties Classic Rock.
One of the first things that really struck me about this album is how standard it is. There are some enjoyable moments on this album, I won’t deny that, but on the whole there is not much that particularly seizes the senses. A lot feels very mildly-bluesy accompanied by vocals with a rough tinge. Not that there’s anything wrong with these things, but at 13 tracks long, the formula feels slightly stretched.
There are moments of glory though; ‘Sinister Purpose’ contains some gritty guitar and bass. ‘The Fire Alarm’ feels like it’s come straight out of a late Sixties Proto-Punk album. ‘At Dusk You Took Down the Blinds’ is a break from the standard mix to deliver and tender, slow-paced piece. ‘We Fell Asleep In The Blue Tent’ showcases some of the most interesting and diverse lyrics of the album, with David Tattersall’s excellently English voice delivering them with precision.
Unfortunately, some songs aren’t quite as notable. In ‘Frogs Sing Loudly In the Ditches’, the pace of the song is all too familiar, and the surrealist lyrics just don’t quite work with the music, like on some of their other songs. On top of that the chorus feels flat and Grungy, as opposed to the sparky chorus in, say, the title track. The structure of this song and others feels way overused; the opening of stuttered guitar followed by drums and vocals unfortunately a pattern that doesn’t fade over time.
For most of the album, there isn’t anything particularly wrong with the instrumentation of The Wave Pictures. While their music isn’t the most exciting to come out of 2015 so far, they sound pretty good overall. The switch from Sixties Pop to Blues Rock is a nice addition to the album, and I enjoyed a semi-nostalgic feeling that emerges at moments of glory sporadically throughout the album.
Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon doesn’t live up to the spectacle it’s name might purports it to be. At 13 tracks long it feels stretched and the lack of diversity between certain select tracks doesn’t help. However, there are some songs on here that are actually quite fun, and The Wave Pictures’ sense of the surreal greats some enjoyable moments both lyrically and musically. If you like your music simple yet enjoyable, see here.