CD: Kevin Bartlett’s “Songs For The Big Kablooey”
(Aural Gratification, 2011)
Back in February, we raved about Kevin Bartlett’s EP Songs For The Big Kablooey,” lamenting only that it was a little too short and we wanted more. Well, you can go ahead and get out your glitter platform shoes because that day is finally here.
In addition to the five songs from the original EP, the new album, also titled “Songs For The Big Kablooey,” features seven new songs which skew a little darker lyrically yet fit in seamlessly to make one big, ambitious album.
The dread-filled title track evolves from a formless ambience into a driving ominous chant that just builds and builds (aided by Machan Taylor’s keening backing vocals and a huge prog-rock guitar solo) until finally fading back to a noisy, whimpering ambience again.
“Damaged Boy” features crunchy guitars over a demented keyboard riff and creepy, distorted vocals. “Hard” sounds like a long-lost Mott The Hoople piano ballad, while the chorus of “Somehow” sounds like an homage to George Martin. There’s other moments that evoke David Bowie, Pink Floyd and T-Rex, yet despite the myriad influences, Bartlett’s managed to pull it all into a glorious and rocking glam-psychedelic-prog-rock gumbo that sounds fresh and inventive.