Anyone who has caught The Cubical on stage will agree they fall into the latter category. That’s why titles like The Guardian, Mojo, and Artrocker quickly converted after discovering how Liverpool’s modern day saviours of raw garage blues look through psychedelic eyes.
So take a wailing mouth organ, frantic riff and propellant drumbeat, then add a gruff vocal delivery that one critic claimed would make Tom ‘Waits sound like Tiny Tim’ and you’re almost there. Finally, throw in the kind of live prowess that harks back to the days of real entertainers and tangible rock n roll induced parental nightmares.
Now that’s the melting pot behind the band’s new album, It Ain’t Human. An eleven-track homebrew showcasing an act with a sound as unrefined and powerful as moonshine, only twice as potent. Nodding towards Captain Beefheart, but with a tougher, rougher, and altogether more whiskey soaked ethic, it’s timeless slide guitar grit that draws a line from the Mississippi Delta to River Mersey.
But don’t expect a predictable ride. The bluegrass bar brawl come sax onslaught that is The Ballad of Willie McGrath, and the acoustic journeyman stylings of Paper Walls reference the roots of this canon. But elsewhere Dirty Shame threatens to make dead feet dance with a low down sleazy hook, while the brooding and dishevelled An Ode to Franz Biberkopf offers perhaps the darkest moment. Opinions to one side, both are essential, contemporary readings of these genres. Now hear any of the remaining eight songs and find a consistently varied sensory assault. That could be the runaway train of Walking Around Like Jesus or Three Drop Jameson Mechanism’s single malt quality.
Led by enigmatic and irrepressible frontman Dan Wilson, a growler and natural born showman, with Craig Bell’s rumbling bass, Mark Percy’s rhythmic mastery, Alex Gavaghan’s twanging guitar, along with John Green’s irrefutable command of all things slide and harmonica related it doesn’t take long before you’re hooked on The Cubical’s intoxicating infusion. As unforgiving and uncompromising as they are unquestionably talented, Merseyside’s latest greatest export marks a welcome return of the heartfelt and hoarse that should appeal to anybody who has ever claimed to be a fan of real music.
Fri 25th November – It Ain’t Human Album Launch, Mello Mello, Liverpool.
Support from: The Post War Glamour Girls, GORP & FREQ
Fri 9th Dec – Planet Goo Goo @ the New Empowering Church, Hackney, London
Wed 14th Dec – Religion Clothing Xmas Party, Religion Showroom, Shoreditch, London