The Ladywell Lout’s charming first album release comprises a series of experimental but effective vignettes of his take on Scotland in late 2013.
‘Ramp it up for sleep’, the first track, takes minimal synths and a disembodied vocal about “waking up like a bastard” to announce the arrival of a wry commentator.
The next track takes several recent Alec Salmond pronoucements and gives them a ravey beat, in admiration or irony, you dear listener are left to decide.
The Ladywell Lout’s “main” band, Betty is informed, is Motherwell’s own The Just Joans, who have proved to be a lasting fixture on whatever we want to call Scottish Indie. In this guise, Mr Lout gets to twerk about with some electronic machines but there’s still some trusty guitar strums as well. ‘Phil Collins’ appears to pay homage both to Arab Strap (in lyrical and musical content) but offers comment on some completely random issues such as tidying flats, the aftermentioned Mr Collins’ career prospects at an early age, and encounters with other “Gadgies” in the local area – a real treat.
There’s some really good use of electronic atmospherics on a low budget – ‘5 years on and off’ has a real bedsit vibe but some nagging backing – Betty could comment on some of the social and mental health issues raised as well but they tend to speak for themselves.
And so it goes on, some tracks more successful than others. A highlight, or perhaps not, is the 8m29s ‘Gonny come here Danielle’ which appears to be a “field recording” of the unfortunate Danielle being harangued by her boyfriend and is genuinely disturbing – no idea if Mr Ladywell set this up or not – it’s more like a Chris Morris sketch than a music track.
So it’s an interesting listen with some really good ideas, not exactly satisfying and at times challenging – some good tunes but very much of an experiment.