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El Goodo

Zombie

    An incomparable world of bug-eyed, harmony-rich folk-pop-psych-alt-country-rock lies in wait for intrepid listeners as the best Welsh band the world nearly forgot, El Goodo, return with only their fourth album in a 20-year career, Zombie. 

    The result of a rapid-fire period of easy-come recording at the legendary Rockfield Studios in the company of experimental producer, Tim Lewis (aka Thighpaulsandra, a Julian Cope collaborator and former member of Spiritualized), El Goodo’s 13-track long player gathers loose ends from the band’s stop-start lifespan, as well as brand new songs exploring parenthood, losing parents and – tangentially – Spanish surrealist film.

    Featuring over 20 musicians – including core members Pixy Jones (lead vocals/guitars/keys), Elliott Jones (drums), Jason Jones (vocals/guitars) and Andrew Cann (bass) – the album welcomes contributions from Sweet Baboo/Stephen Black (Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Flute) and Welsh Music Prize-nominee, Eugene Capper (violin/slide guitar). The Grey Tower itself is assembled of 17 players, finessing the ride between bright, sun-dappled hippy pop and intense, squally fuzz with saxophone, harmonica, heavy strings and a Baldwin Electric Harpsichord.

    Originally intending their collaboration with a dedicated producer to be a double-album, a new sense of purpose and direction instead guided them to a drum-tight clutch of tracks that just fits on two sides instead of four. As well as recording Zombie direct to tape, El Goodo dug around in Lewis’ rich archive of analogue equipment at his Aeriel studio in Carmarthenshire, including a rare Univox early synth used by Joe Meek in the recording of his 1962 game-changer Telstar (now used by the band on I Can’t Leave). The result of their journey is a rich tapestry of valve-powered sound, recalling the White Album, Scott Walker, The Troggs, Gene Clark, the Beach Boys and numerous other ‘golden-age’ sonic explorers.

    Named after Lewis’ sadly-departed dog, Zombie – etched in the band’s memories and nasal passages as a vegetable-loving creature, with noxious after effects - the album’s title follows in El Goodo’s tradition of naming albums after animals, succeeding 2009’s Coyote and 2017’s, widely-acclaimed, By Order Of The Moose.

    Forming in the late 90s, El Goodo (named after the Big Star song, Ballad Of El Goodo) emerged with intent as not only a support band for Super Furry Animals on their 2006 Love Kraft UK tour, but also as label mates as the Furries released the band’s self-titled debut on their Placid Casual label in 2005. Haphazardly piecing together records using faulty equipment in a crumbling village hall in their sleepy hometown of Resolven, the next 15 years has seen El Goodo blip contentedly on the radar as a gently persistent musical jewel cherished by knowing audiophiles. Their association with the Furries persists as Zombie is released on Cian Ciarán and Dafydd Ieuan’s Cardiff-based, Strangetown Records. 


    After a break of two years, Zefur Wolves return with a brand new album, beating a path to the promised 2019 follow up to their acclaimed debut. The three-piece’s distinct brand of languid, emotive, alt-rock takes the commanding role with Truth is in the Stars, released on Strangetown Records.

    The band have once again teamed up with M h of human consciousness and empathetic resistance to injustice. r. Kobo who hasn't disappointed with the beautiful and intricate sleeve artwork and lovingly presented by Mark James Works. For the audiophiles the gorgeous deep berry coloured vinyl will be a feast for the eyes as well as the ears.

    Studio sessions helmed by producer and former live band member, Super Furry Animal’s Cian Ciarán, have driven the band to greater intricacy and an audible sense of playfulness, toying with compositional and recording technique. Having crafted their debut album in California, evocative of their cited inspirations including Spiritualized and Beach House, the upbeat trailblazing first single Flying High, recorded at Strangetown Studios in Caridff, suggests new and fertile creative ground has been found to ‘one up’ an already glinting reputation


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: For all of you that love the thrashing, but cohesive madness of the Lovely Eggs, the Zefur Wolves are here to brighten up your day. Throbbing guitars and snapping percussion are coated in an entirely non-eggy haze of shoegazing distortion and extended reverb. Thoroughly brilliant.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Very limited edition coloured vinyl.

    Welsh psych-pop band El Goodo return with their long, long awaited third album By Order Of The Moose, due out on Cian Ciaran’s (Super Furry Animals) Strangetown Records. Recorded over the course of 8 years in an old derelict cinema in their home village of Resolven, the album is a continuation of where the band left off in 2009 with their previous effort Coyote. Wielding the wide open spaces of spaghetti westerns with the close melodic harmonies of girl groups and the good humour of Nuggets inspired garage rock’n’roll, El Goodo takes you on a trip through their fascination with 60s music.

    Comprised of brothers Elliott (drums, percussion) and Jason Jones (guitar, vocals), Pixy Jones (guitar, vocals, keyboards), Lewie Sewers (guitar), Matthew Young (keyboards) and Andrew Cann (bass), El Goodo (named after a Big Star song) are a band enthralled by the past. They recorded the album on a 16-track with a small collection of faulty equipment, creating a collection of melodic pop songs, embellished with strings, brass, sitars, harmonicas, xylophones and vocal harmonies (and then seemingly covered it all with dust), that you’d expect to find on some forgotten 60s record that someone has stumbled upon in their attic.
    Elliott saw the words “Loyal Order Of Moose” carved into stone on the side of a building in Neath and they all liked the sound of it for the album title. They changed it slightly to By Order Of The Moose. As Pixy explains; “I’ve always thought of it as "The Moose" is some evil guy who wears a moose head hat and controls people’s minds, making them do evil things. In reality though it means nothing, we just liked the way it sounded.” Jason, who made the intricate cover illustration, seems to have interpreted the title to be more of a circus, depicting a Wild West ringmaster, wild animals and acrobats.

    From the first recording in November 2008 with the track “When”, the album took eight years to complete. Initially thinking it would only take them a few months, they set out to record at The Music Box in Cardiff. Two years later they decamped back to their village, to the Resolven Miners’ Welfare Hall.
    The first single “It Makes Me Wonder” is their interpretation of a 60s girl group song. Pixy describes bringing the song to the band; “On the demo I sampled the drums intro of “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes. Matty commented that the drums sounded good, how did I get that sound? I told him that I played it in the kitchen on various saucepans and he believed me.”

    The similarly titled opening track “Sit & Wonder” was an attempt to do something like Zager & Evans’ “In The Year 2525”, but it didn’t turn out like that. The lyrics were based on war films like Come And See, Ivan’s Childhood and Red Dawn. “So It Goes” was meant to be like a Marty Robbins cowboy song but ended up being more like a Nuggets track. “Susan and Bill” is a touching tribute to his parents.



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