El Goodo - Zombie
Brand new. Sealed album.
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 first single to be revealed, "The Grey Tower", is an expansive, five-minute trip through the '60s heat of Lauren Canyon and Haight-Ashbury via the picturesque Vale of Neath. 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. 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 (1968), Scott Walker, The Troggs, Gene Clark, the Beach Boys and numerous other "golden-age" sonic explorers. The album is named after Lewis's sadly-departed dog -- etched in the band's memories and nasal passages as a vegetable-loving creature, with noxious after effects. 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 UK tour, but also as label mates as the Furries released the band's self-titled debut on their Placid Casual label in 2005. The next 15 years saw El Goodo blip contentedly on the radar as a gently persistent musical jewel cherished by knowing audiophiles.