It has been just over a year since the English protest-folk project of Jay McAllister – Beans On Toast – last featured. On the 1st the latest LP A Bird In The Hand was released.
As has proven to be the case with each of the previous nine albums, all of which have had a release date of the 1st of December, the tracks revolve around both personal experiences while cognisant of a wider world.
A Bird In The Hand (available on vinyl directly from the Beans On Toast website) is as much a celebration of the birth of a child as it is a reflection of the supporting structures outside the immediate family – with each of the ten tracks being both upbeat while simultaneously scathing of a society in which the silo has become the norm.
Although I am unable to share my pick of the release – Here At Homerton Hospital – the fourth track, the third track – Magic which I am, serves as fine introduction.
The trio of Craig (Guitar), Jimmy (Bass) and Rob (Drums) from Leicester (England) who form the maths-rock band Jouska are planning for an LP next year.
On the 30th of November they released the two track single Lunapark (available on bandcamp), both of which will be on the album, immediately strikes the ears with the finesse of interplay, in what are predominately instrumental compositions.
While being of the sharp angles anticipated by mathematical-rock they have been able to invest a sense of the sharp rebound of a snooker ball cannoning off the cushion of new rubber on a snooker table, which gives the music an unexpected organic ebb and flow.
My pick of the single – the second track – Stopped Clock, this sense of a living and breathing being is further enhanced by a shifting timestamp which gives the music, as well as spiked points, an ever changing signature. It of course does help, to my ears, that a prominent bass guitar proffers strings through the speakers for the listener to pluck.
The first track to come from the EP – Content Crush – is of slightly different air to previous material of theirs with a more dreamy and glazed eyes soundbase, having a tincture of British invasion in the swaying melodies while still retaining the hints of Talking Heads having had a night of heady spliffs.
The mellowed stretched bars, rich with bass clarinet, keys, and guitar, seep through the room in layers of almost tangible smokey layers in to which the listener finds their synapses pulse in syncopated rhythm with a warm feel-good rush filling body and mind as the crunch of daily life recedes in to the distance.