Monday 23 November 2015

Rodney Cromwell - Black Dog EP

Article by KevW

Names can be deceiving, so for those that don't know, it should be pointed out that Rodney Cromwell, although essentially a solo project, does contain a couple of other players. And if "does" sounds like bad grammar, then it's worth mentioning that Rodney Cromwell isn't a person at all, it's the alias of these musicians and, mainly, Adam Cresswell who was formerly in Arthur & Martha who received coverage on our radio show several years ago. Having released the album 'Age Of Anxiety' back in the summer, Rodney Cromwell have this month delivered the 'Black Dog EP', which comprises of alternative versions of tracks from that album, and it's paradoxically futuristic and retro, taking analogue electronica and electro-pop and morphing it into music that often belongs in the realms of sci-fi.

New Order comparisons have never been far away, and 'Black Dog (Version)' shows exactly why. It's a bubbling, energetic, warm and melodic tune that heavily recalls the Manchester group at times, as well as bringing to mid OMD and even a poppier Kraftwerk. Even with that many comparisons this is an addictive and inventive alt-pop tune that you won't be let down by. 'You Will Struggle (Rod's Glitchy Disco Mix)' carries the same influence but sounds as though it was produced by Giorgio Moroder - that's rarely a bad thing, and this case is no different. The intriguingly-titled 'Barry Was An Arms Dealer (AUW's North-Poindexter Remix)' slows the pace of the EP and moves it away from the dance floor (although, to be fair, it was only really flirting with the idea in the first place) by using a robotic voice and a minimal backing that's later joined by a bigger beat that somewhat belies the slow pace of the rest of the song. Finally we reach 'Black Dog (Extended Version)', a track that's unlikely to fall foul of the Trade Descriptions Act, and will serve to be a welcome addition for anyone who gets tempted (and this is likely) to put the title-track on repeat. With so many people delving into the world of retro electronics, Rodney Cromwell offer a refreshingly familiar-yet-innovative approach.

Rodney Cromwell's website

Stream or buy the EP

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