The False Poets
Strange Season
Nice Mind Records

Garage Music From a Different Kitchen.

I rather liked The False Poets self-titled debut album a couple of years ago; because of its Garage Band/60’s R&B grooves ….. which is why I was taken aback by their new ‘direction’.
Had it not been for the fact that the band all live within walking distance of my house (on a sunny day …. and I would have to catch the bus back) but I’ve struggled to get my head around what they are trying to create here ….. that is until one evening I was driving home from work feeling a bit glum; and thought I’d give it another try.
Of course!
Singer and writer of all 13 songs, Chris Riley has made a massive leap from that ‘straight up’ 1960’s Beat Boom R&B sound and blended it with some Post Punk sensibilities; most notably with his ‘thin and reedy’ voice sounding now; uncannily like Pete Shelley from the Buzzcocks on several dangerously exciting tracks; starting with the opener Read The Sky!
With that in mind; all of the pieces fell neatly into place and the car stereo was soon cranked up to 9 and the miles quite literally ‘flew by’.
Much like the Buzzcocks (and the Yardbirds latter studio albums) The False Poets tread a musical tightrope at times; but that just adds extra frison to Drama Queen, How Many Days and; of course the bittersweet A Winter Rose.
As you’d expect from a New Wave/ Garage Band, the influences are many and varied; with surprises every now and again; none more so than Bo Diddley is a Poet; which he undoubtedly was; but I thought I was the only one to think so.
Then there is the exquisite instrumental album closer, Dead Man’s Shoes with its Hank B Marvin meets Film Noir guitar work, both set to ‘stun’ mode and stun you this track will.
Back ‘in the day’ The False Poets would have been looking for a single to send to John Peel; but sadly he’s not around, but if he was Tillie’s Blues in a Double A-Side with the skewed swagger of Glissando wouldn’t be out of place in my opinion. Sadly I can’t think of anyone on radio with such eclectic taste today.
It’s been a fun ride in the car with these songs as a soundtrack to several very different jaunts; and a couple of tracks have captured my attention; starting with the darkly ragged Stupid Thing which simmers like a kettle until Riley enters the fray with yet another Buzzcockian left of centre motherload; and the wacky guitar interludes just have to be heard to be believed!
The album closer, Dead Man’s Shoes; neatly entering at #13 is a brooding 90% instrumental Noir New Wave heart melter; that deserves pride of place in a Tarantino or David Lynch cop drama set in a mid-Western town; where nobody knows your name.
But; there is one other song; and the one that has become my Favourite over the last week or so …… Drama Queen; three crackling minutes of taught and phlegmatic Merseybeat wrapped in spiky Garageband guitar, throbbing bass and machine-gun drumming …… come on; what’s not to like?
The False Poets all have day jobs and are active members of a variety of bands; like so many ‘professional musicians’ on here; so, to all intents and purposes this is an album that the False Poets have made for their own pleasure …… and I doff my cap to them for having such chutzpah!

Released July 2nd 2021


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