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Robots in Disguise

The Refried Beings

Norwal Records
Released the first Monday after the feast of St. Hullabong

Review by Julian Lemerde

The eagerly unawaited first album from the Folkstone-based fishermen-cum-space-rockers comes hot on the heels of their now-scarce trio of EPs "Brick Enema", "Get out of my Son" and "Pan Pipe Moods". The special edition collector package of all 3 records bound in human skin and with the titles daubed crudely on in dolphin faeces now commands a price of literally hundreds of pence.

The LP opens boldly with "Sea Bass Lube", a sea shanty with obvious Cajun and bluegrass influences, most notably with the banjo / spoons duel during the middle eight. Inky Spore and Limp Twinkie, the 2 musicians involved in this syncopated fracas, clearly have some kind of rivalry going on, as for the remainder of the song, the banjo and spoons having been destroyed, they can be heard grappling and cursing each other, until one of them gets the other in a headlock, and an uneasy stalemate is declared. The fade out clearly reveals Spore saying "I would have had him if I hadn't hurt myself on those lobster pots". The effect and mood set by the track, clearly an attempt at capturing the wonder of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Soundtrack, is essentially wank. Sadly, Ya Kid K is no longer with us, and to attempt to recreate the glory days of this artist is frankly insulting to their memory. That said the close harmony singing on the chorus is superb, and a welcome return to form from guest musician Undercover Elephant on Alto Sax is a treat.

The remainder of the album is taken up by the Beings long term pet project, the ambient "Lo-Fi Jib Slide" based mostly around the noise of the sea, and the calls of the Mbreela Trout, native only to the waters of Folkstone. Layered on top of this is a recording of the whole band having one of their famous drug binges at their notorious hangout, the Sunnydale Tearooms in the high street. The night nurse is clearly flowing and it appears that pro-plus may have been brought into play, creating the mildly diverting over-the-counter speedball that the Beings were so renowned for at the beginning of their career in the heady summer of 1986. Many have happy memories of their debut LP "Lemon Tusk", the film "Back to the Future" and Nigel Rees' book of humourous grafitti. But they are cunts. This record is far superior, comparable perhaps to the finest solo work of Limahl, after he had freed himself from the shackles of Kajagoogoo, and possibly even "Ride a Rock Horse" by Roger Daltrey. In spite of the flaws in the opening track, the crusty barnacles are soon swept away by the disinfectant laden broom of "Slide" into a foamy scum around the plimsole line of Rock.

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