Thursday, 28 November 2013

New Fast Automatic Daffodils - Pigeonhole (1991)

One of the wonderful things about YouTube, aside obviously from ranting atheist neckbeards sharing their important views with the rest of us, is how it allows one to catch up with music about which you may have wondered without ever getting to hear. The New Fast Automatic Daffodils somewhat passed me by at the time as I didn't really listen to music radio, didn't like clubs or gigs, and they never turned up in the record collections of anyone I knew. I read about them in the music papers, but nothing inspired me to rush out and buy a record on the off chance that it might not be shit. So from time to time I'll YouTube up some name recalled from centuries gone by just out of curiosity, in case it turns out that I've missed out on something I would have liked; and occasionally I like something enough to chase up the album, as has happened here.

The New FADs as I seem to recall them being abbreviated turned up at the same time as that whole Madchester baggy thing to which I maintained some distance having bought a record by Northside from a bargain bin for twenty-five pee and found it to be shite. I can see why they got lumped in with the Stone Roses and all, but they were actually pretty good, and certainly not the also-rans I probably assumed them to be. If anything they sound roughly like A Certain Ratio working their way backwards, devolving into Krautrock, roughly speaking - actually not that much of a stretch Madchesterwise given that Happy Mondays were basically Can with more drugs. Most of the tracks here tend towards extended jams rather than songs as such, workouts with choppy wah-wah guitar and a fantastic rhythm section with a ton of bongos and that. I can see why tossers in fishing hats might have regarded this as top or even sorted, and given that this didn't exactly sound like any of those other groups, it's a shame they didn't shift a few more records at the time. The only criticism I can come up with is that New Fast Automatic Daffodils wasn't a great name, and this compact disc version of the album could have stood to lose the last four tracks - it's not that they're bad, and one of them actually reminds me of Cabaret Voltaire around the time of 2X45, but less is more, and particularly so with rambling funky workout jam session type things. They're probably all taxicab drivers or working in kebab shops by now, but I hope at least one of their number is still able to look back on this material with fondness, and know that he recorded something which didn't deserve to get lost in the tidal wave of baggy Mancunian toss.

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