artist: Hybrid Kids
label: Cherry Red Records
personnel: Morgan Fisher (all instruments except...) Maggie Nicols (voice), Lol Coxhill (sax), Joel Cutrara (xmas appeal), Iain McNay (speech), Chris & Valerie Ross (voices)
tracklisting: we three kings, o come all ye faithful, deck the halls, coventry, holly and ivy, no st. bernard, listen the snow is flling, dead ducks, good king wenceslas, happy xmas (war is over)
this week, what could be more appropriate than to review a Christmas album? however, i doubt that 'Claws' (geddit?) will be played at many Christmas parties.
hatched from the warped universe of former Mott the Hoople keyboardist (!) Morgan Fisher - with a notable guest slot from saxophonist and friend Lol Coxhill - the basic premise of 'Claws' is to take traditional Xmas fare such as 'O Come All Ye Faithful', and seriously mash it through a Flying Lizards' filter. the results are, at times, truly bizarre. by keeping the songs moving at a frantic pace and almost exclusively using a pitch harmoniser to raise his voice, Fisher's efforts hurtle headlong towards the realms of other high octane kitchen sink experimenters like Renaldo and the Loaf. as you would expect, much of it is meticulously pieced together, particularly the percussion loops and mandolin (?) of opener 'We Three Kings'. side two is thankfully more sedate. 'No St. Bernard' features label boss Iain McNay providing an amusing 'I hate Christmas' monologue over gentle synths and samples of old Xmas hits drifting in and out of the mix. meanwhile, Maggie Nichols' a capella folk song 'Dead Ducks' remains genuinely affecting. concluding with Pinky and Perky's very own version of 'War is Over', tongues are firmly returned to cheeks.
guaranteed to excite the child in you at Christmas, 'Claws' is a cracker!
erik - www.cultwithnoname.com