‘Wooden Head’, out in June 2014, is the follow up LP to previous compilation album ‘Waiting For The Summer’ from London based band, The Proper Ornaments. Released by Fortuna POP! and recorded on an eight track reel-to reel format, it has a hazy, nostalgic feel to it. Band members, James Hoare (Veronica Falls) and Argentinian Max Claps, share duties on guitar and vocals, met by chance, some years back in London over a mutual love for The Velvets’ work. Daniel Nellis(bass) and Robert Syme (drums) make up the rest of the band. ‘Wooden Head’ has fourteen melodic and soft feel Psych pop songs, with darkly serrated edges; a shimmering and addictive tonic for summer listening
‘Summers Gone’ is already available to stream and teases us, offering a small, hypnotic dose of what the album ‘ Wooden Head ‘ is made of. Song lyrics such as “Now that you’re old enough to lose your own mind“ are delivered in a paradoxically subtle and heart wrenching style, with fuzzed up guitars and steady drums. The vocals of both Max and James harmonise sublimely here.
The rest of the album keeps to the same vein of unbalancing us with both sweet melodies and then writhing melancholic lyrics. Neo-Psych, Shoegazey pop ballads that seem innocuous enough, but listen closely, for the unravelling of tales – deep and dark; infectious songs that make you care.
The hazy drawl of Max Claps’ and James Hoare’s voices, redolent of the mighty Lou Reed, reels us into the undertow of a psyche dressed in robes of pastel Psych. The album will leave you thirsty for more and it is the perfect summer listen – soft light, hot and deep. The gentle beat and butterfly percussion of anthemic ‘Now I Understand’, reminiscent of The Jesus And Mary Chain, is compulsive listening as is ‘You Shouldn’t Have Gone ‘; all smooth percussion, fuzzy guitars and echo, trippy Brian Jonestown Massacre feel effects. ‘Step Into The Cold’, ‘Tire Me Out’, ‘Sun’ and ‘Ruby’ have a gentle free-form feel to them.
Wooden Head is a really good album from The Proper Ornaments – all the songs offer a cohesive delivery of both a thematically accomplished, pure pop masterpiece and also a side of compelling journey into the heart of darkness; listen and then reel as the songs softly imprint and implode onto your mind.
Listen to ‘Wooden Head’ on Spotify below:
By Frock & Roll