It's all reviews 'round here these days...
Hellfire Sermons return after what seems like forever away. Their last album was a compilation on the Bus Stop label calle 'Hymns Ancient and Modern', which collected all their singles between 1987 and 1994 together in one deliciously awkward package.
And now 'Luminous Crocodile' has appeared, and it's equally as awkward. Decidely lo-fi (you almost feel like you're sat in a rehearsal at times), this album wrestles with itsel throughout. Just when you think you're about to launch into perfect pop, there's a mangled guitar, off-centre bassline, or out of tune vocal to keep you in check. And that's not such a bad thing now and again.
And then there's 'Gone to Ground', which is something of an epic, but again fails to really take off when you're about to close your eyes and shake your head in a really pretentious way.
But you can do on 'Mystery of Life', which harks back to the early Hellfire Sermons sound. A sort of Fall meets the Pastels, it's the best track here. It grunts, it growls, but it's groovy too. Just listen to that bassline; dare I say it - but it's a little bit primal and sexy.
Pop fans might find this album difficult. But pop fans should give it some time. Underneath that muddy production is a heartthrob of a record. Just don't let on you know, like. We wouldn't want Hellfire Sermons going soft on us...
Download 'Mystery of Life' here.