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The Kitchen Cynics

The Anatomy Rooms (labelname)

By • May 7th, 2018 • Category: long players

The was actually released late last year so is overdue for review, another 11 tracks of very original music by the Cynics. Aberdeen’s Kitchen Cynics have had a vast output of music over the years (in fact there was talk of “retiral” around 2002, like 16 years ago!), and this is the latest offering.

This is gentle folk music with a cultural bent towards Doric weirdness, and seemingly conventional songs often have a twist or a barb somewhere in between. The KC’s main man is Alan Davidson – is he Aberdeen’s answer to Alastair Roberts? No, that is too trite, although there are some similarities.

This album is infused with some good old Scottish Gothic, Burke and Hare, Jekyll and Hyde, namechecked or referred to at least. The instrumentation is mainly acoustic, guitar, piano and other noises, while the vocals are a very nuanced North East lilt.

There are a lot of wildlife songs here too, foxes are present, as are Marsh Harriers, and other creatures. ‘When The Old Fox Died’ has some very strange sounds on it, distorted guitars which could be on a Cure record – over 8 minutes of percussion-less meandering, with whispered vocals about, among other things, how the hens felt about his death… ‘The Better One’ has something like a tambourine solo on it and

Maybe BM has said this before when reviewing the previous KC album but there are strong tropes of Wicker Man soundtrack here, otherworldly and eldritch ‘The Queen O’ Elphin’ for example, is a warning against this particular “Queen”s charms. The last track ‘The Heroine, Jane Whyte’ concerns a shipwreck and could justly be referred to as a shanty.

This album requires a bit of concentration but is well worth the listen, and is part of a pretty amazing body of work, dragging the trad folk music of the North East screaming into the present…

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