A horrible hack

The Scarecrow Frequency

Kolumbus Never Did This

Year Released: 2014
Format: Tape
Label: self released
Reviewed by Oli Saunders on Dec 29, 2014
The Scarecrow Frequency's discography officially reaches eleven with this release; of course, he's not writing symphonies, rather most songs seem to hinge around a few simple ideas, but this is still an impressive feat. There are very few bands/artists who could retain my interest for that long but, as I've said many times now, there's something special about this music. Please refer to my other reviews for why because I think by now I've run out of superlatives.

TSF's previous proper release, 'Who Is Tom Douglas', was a bit of a let down and John even admits this, but this new offering is a return to form, or close to it. However, it perhaps requires more effort from the listener though to get into it, being less catchy than its predecessors, and is not the best place for a newcomer to start. Using the word 'catchy' to describe TSF in any capacity is fairly ridiculous, but if you are a fellow fan you will know what I mean. James Bunten now and again tells me about how he can't stop listening to a certain song because of some small detail (Bill Mills springs to mind).

The tape opens with an audio sample about Columbus; the liner notes are an explanation of why the man should not be celebrated, much like words written in Howard Zinn's 'A People's History...'. 'Honey Bee' then sets the tone: a slow, repetitive and drawn out offering. This is followed by a song in which we hear the phrase 'I don't care anymore' a great deal. There has always been a great deal of melancholy in John's music. A highlight on the first side is 'Prison Fire', which is reminscent of earlier output and perhaps also a nod to The Butter Up Band with its whispered vocals. It's excellent. The second half doesn't grab me as much and overall this isn't one of my favourite TSF releases, but it's still pretty damn decent.

29th December 2014

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