Sunday 20 May 2012

Johnny5thWheel&thecowards - Nancy/In My Laboratory

Single review by KevW

Six people wielding wooden, acoustic instruments, playing slightly wacky songs that are destined to be forever described as 'quirky' and 'off-kilter'? It's enough to make you want to stuff gunpowder in your ears and throw caution to the wind when it comes to being near naked flames. Do we need another one of these? If you have an aversion to waistcoats and facial hair you may feel a red mist descending already, but wait! For all is not as it seems with North Easterners Johnny5thWheel&thecowards, while their name may blow up the grammar/spell check on your computer, you'll want your lug holes fully intact to accompany you into their fascinatingly old-fashioned and surreal lair.

Tempos, structures and common sense all go out the window to be replaced with strange tales of one-eyed women in libraries and swapping identities with people who may or may not exist ('Nancy'), and the science of music being dissected by a mad man with a skeleton key and desire to cure narcolepsy ('In My Laboratory'). It's safe to say that this coming together of alt-folk, skiffle, music hall, lounge, pop and psychedelia isn't something you hear every day, but if only it was. The imagination, fun and drama compressed into these two songs has rarely been heard this side of Syd Barrett. Sod the gunpowder, Johnny5thWheel&thecowards' new album is out later this year and if they carry on like this they should be able to blow your ears up with music alone.

Johnny5thWheel&thecowards' website

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