Gizmodrome - Gizmodrome album review

All-star virtuosi find their radical grooves

Cover art for Gizmodrome - Gizmodrome album

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’Supergroups’ aren’t supposed to sound this fresh. Stewart Copeland (ex-Police), Mark King (Level 42) and Adrian Belew (ex-almost everybody – King Crimson, Bowie, Talking Heads) join with Italian keyboard whizz Vittorio Cosma (ex-PFM) in a Milan studio and have a whale of a time. A cue for indulgent muso jamming? Not here, as the four clearly get a buzz from their chemistry and do very strange things with Copeland’s innately peculiar songs.

It’s a blitz of funky punky prog-reggae fusion (yes, that’s a thing, or at least it is now), and the playing is of course ludicrously impressive. What keeps the energy moving is Copeland’s bizarre vocal persona as a kind of horny preacher man, testifying to the travails – and fun – of ageing and travel.

That King-Copeland rhythm section’s a bit handy too. They occasionally skid off, but most of this album is playful, pugnacious and pleasingly unglued.

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.