19 Jun 2016

Duncan Maitland - Lullabies for the 21st Century / Orgone Box - Lorne Park Tapes

Reviewed by Nathan Ford

We've got two great new releases from vinyl specialists Sugarbush Records to look at today. Sugarbush head honcho Markus Holler has impeccable taste, releasing limited edition vinyl pressings of recent albums not previously released on vinyl as well as brand new releases, mostly in the psychedelic / jangle pop / power-pop fields, many of which we've favourably covered in the past.

First to see the stylus from this duo is Dublin's Duncan Maitland and his 2010 debut "Lullabies for the 21st Century". XTC's Colin Moulding plays bass on the first track, which should give you an idea what to expect here. It's a beautifully produced album that fans of XTC and Pugwash will love, full of lush, rainy day sunshine pop songs, with a progressive influence to the song structures; check out "Handbirds" - lovely melancholy stuff.

Elsewhere "Terry The Toad" demonstrates some power pop muscle, "Alien at Home" marries impeccable pop hooks with psychedelic studio electrickery, "Horror Stories" is a kaleidoscopic, Pepperesque anthem and "Insect Under the Stone" is playfully Nilsson -like. "Lucky You" even hints at Steven Wilson's more straightforward song-based material, with a lovely, lyrical slide guitar riff that you could be forgiven for mistaking for David Gilmour.

Great headphone album this too, with all sorts of things going on production-wise, and tunes to match.

Next up we have a real treat. I'm a huge fan of Rick Corcoran AKA Orgone Box. So much so that we somehow managed to talk Rick into letting us release the digital version of his excellent "Centaur" album, which Sugarbush handled on vinyl. He's one of those artists that is known by few, but loved by almost all who hear him. "The Lorne Park Tapes" is a collection of four track recordings from the early nineties, none of which have previously seen the light of day (at least in this form, several tracks were re-recorded for the second Orgone Box album).

The production may be rough around the edges, but the arrangements here are all fully realised and the songs are once again just fantastic. If anyone can lay claim to being the one-man Beatles, it's Rick. Combining McCartney's effortless melodicism with Lennon's restless ire brings out the best from both camps, and there are plenty of songs here that would have been highlights on either artists solo albums, although little that either recorded after the breakup is as Beatlesque as these gems. I'm dying to see what else is in Rick's archive.

Recommended unequivocally to all Beatles fans, and anyone with a penchant for classic pop tunes.

Both are available direct from the label here with all prices including free shipping worldwide.

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