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Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Ross Gilchrist - Rank Badjiin ep

Ross Gilchrist - Rank Badjiin EP
Ayrshire is in danger of being unable to contain the talent that we currently have.
It seems that every time I go to a local show that there is yet another act on the bill that leaves me blathering like an idiot and rushing home to ejaculate ill thought out ramblings onto the page.
I keep saying that it can't be long now before one of them jumps from this small pond into a larger one and draws attention to everyone else.
It's touch and go who it will be though because there are so many of them. All different, but at the same time similar because they all share the attitude that everything is there for the plundering.
Acoustic blues re-workings of Wu Tang songs, electro pop played on the banjo, Robert Burns dragged screaming and kicking into a new millennium with a dub backbone to prop him up.
As strange as all that seems I can assure you that the talent is there not just to make it work, but to make the hairs stand up on your neck while you grin like a loon and attempt to dance in the style of a southern baptist snake charmer who has indulged in too much venom.
It's powerful, passionate and sometimes just a bit bonkers.
Ross Gilchrist is one of the guys that exemplifies this attitude.
By day a Tesco checkout drone, by night a gonzo musician with the ability to right every wrong in the world with a guitar.
He stomps, he howls and out heckles the hecklers with a a manic smile and a quick whit while playing an acoustic melting pot of styles.
Yet here on his Rank Badjiin EP - a precursor to an album proper – he has wrong footed everyone by showing off his multi-instrumentalist skills and covering so much ground that you could call him a musical globe trotter.
First track “I am a Bard” kidnaps the prose of Robert Burns and takes each couplet on an exhilarating roller-coaster ride accompanied by buzzing and frothing electric guitar and bursts of harmonica that in less than two minutes will leave you breathless with excitement.
For such a short introduction it manages to set the tone by promising you nothing more than everything.
“Life is how you look at it” could be something that Barenaked Ladies would do if they teamed up with Weezer and maybe The Butthole Surfers, Lyrically it's veers between being angry and contemplative, but musically it is joyously poptastic.
The same could be said for “Fucking Awesome Fearsum” a song that is indeed fucking awesomely fearsome. If Brian Wilson could have got his arse out of the sandpit then maybe this is what he would have delivered. Guitars, keyboards, what sounds like a radio tunelessly being played in tune and self harmonizing becoming one big glorious wall of sound.
We are only three tracks in and it's sensory overload. Everything and the kitchen sink is being used here.
“The most fighting-est champions” could be a history lesson written by They Might Be Giants, but don't consider for one second that it pales in comparison next to them. There Flood album could be the out-takes from the “The most fighting-est champions” sessions. In the latest illustrated dictionary there no description next to the word quirky. Just a small photograph of Ross Gilchrist.
“Miskatonic Musings pt1” has a skat intro that morphs into sci-fi blues, a cascading waterfall of notes, chunky riffing and howling vocals. It's Barbarella , it's the Big Easy, It's Fear and Loathing in Deliverance land. It's an acid trip for the ears.
The penultimate song “Code Monkey” a cover of the Jonathan Coultan track could be the longest number one in the history of the charts.
Well that's if the the general public weren't made up of people with their ears painted on.
Effortlessly breaking down barriers and working across gender, age and genres it is a real cheeky piece of work.
EP closer “21st Century Blues” does exactly what a closing track should do and that's leave you wanting more.
If I had a radio station I would be barricading up the doors and playing this ep 24 hours solid on repeat while dancing about in the studio and giving the finger to the bosses, firemen, police and medics who were trying to break in and take me a way.

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