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The Vintage Calvinos

An Invitation To Infamy (Stereogram)

By • Dec 29th, 2017 • Category: long players

Aberdeen is rarely thought of as a hotbed of musical innovation, yet Stereogram Recordings’ boss Jeremy Thoms has long championed the city’s radical credentials.

When Thoms heard that his old friend David Baird was planning an ambitious new project, he was quick to offer support, not only producing, mixing and mastering the album, but also releasing it on his record label.

Thoms and Stereogram co-founder Innes Reekie were blown away by Baird’s facility with a catchy melody and the breadth of his artistic vision, both defining characteristics of The Vintage Calvinos’ striking debut album, ‘An Invitation to Infamy’.

The album’s restless eclecticism makes it hard to classify, but the overall feel is somewhat akin to a louche, darker Belle & Sebastian. Vocally, Baird deploys an arresting croon not dissimilar to that of The Psychedelic Furs’ Richard Butler, the perfect vehicle for the Aberdonian’s rum, literate tales.

The songs range in tone from the unsettling, baroque acid-folk of ‘Alice’ to the smash-and-grab directness of ‘Teardrops In Your Eyes’, a track that could easily have graced one of Julian Cope’s early solo albums. Elsewhere, ‘This Handsome Boy’ evokes Prefab Sprout’s sophisto-pop, while ‘Rock Dreams Part 2’ is playful, joyous and knowingly daft, in equal measure.

With a truly diverse range of musicians involved, ‘An Invitation to Infamy’ successfully avoids the generic traps of most rock albums, while retaining a compelling edginess that invites repeated listening. Baird and his highly-talented barmy army are not playing it safe here, but by following his own wilful muse, the songwriter has created something rather special indeed, a delightfully deranged tour of a marginal demi-monde located some way North-East of the well-trodden path.

Buy ‘An Invitation to Infamy’ here.

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