For those who have followed the strange and fascinating story of Tinyfish with any sort of enthusiasm, the prospect of a Robert Ramsay solo album is undeniably enticing, as the harmonica-wielding wordsmith has emerged as one of modern prog’s most intriguing eccentrics.
Confound And Disturb certainly doesn’t disappoint: a primarily spoken-word enterprise, bolstered by musical interludes and bursts of jarring ambience, it begins with Ramsay laying down the specifics of his last will and testament, and continues through strange monologues, skewed life lessons, bug-eyed surrealism and the occasional chicken impersonation. At their most effective, amid the art rock squall and folksy twinkling of Tramps In Their Purest Form, Ramsay’s ramblings exhibit subtle shades of Viv Stanshall and Ivor Cutler, albeit via seemingly sci‑fi inspired tales of wilful bizarreness, rather than anything more quaintly mundane. Elsewhere, The Real Rap leaps cheerfully into grubby trip-hop territory, while The Black Box Society is half serene diatribe, half acid rock freakout. Fervently British but witty and endearing enough to connect with most sentient music fans, Confound… fulfils its brief with deliciously quirky aplomb.