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Schnauser: Where Business Meets Fashion

Neo-psych with bite from the West Country.

What a wonderful, Technicolor nightmare this is, feverishly painted by Bristol quartet Schnauser, named either after the ‘tache or the German terrier, and displaying the same friskiness and unpredictability as both.

The band’s second release arrived with a handwritten note from founder Alan Strawbridge suggesting they’d be ‘up our readers’ alley’. Thirty seconds into opener Showers Of Blood we’re nodding emphatically, as fruity Yes-like organ melts into a sweetly crooned chorus depicting some sort of massacre at an am-dram night.

What follows is a barking cascade of reepy neo-psych, which references Sgt Pepper, the Kinks, XTC and gone-wrong Beach Boys. Canterbury playfulness tempers Large Groups Of Men, which fizzes with the terror of subliminal peer pressure; if you’ve ever read a book by Magnus Mills, this is the soundtrack.

Society’s meaty little neuroses fuel Schnauser’s jaunty adventures, yielding earworms of urbane decay such as Westwood Ho!, Good Looking Boy and Vaguely Disturbed, its charming lullaby swing inducing both goosebumps and paranoia.

Nothing is missed under their cracked magnifier, and it’s all brilliantly, hummably horrific.

Jo is a journalist, podcaster, event host and music industry lecturer with 23 years in music magazines since joining Kerrang! as office manager in 1999. But before that Jo had 10 years as a London-based gig promoter and DJ, also working in various vintage record shops and for the UK arm of the Sub Pop label as a warehouse and press assistant. Jo's had tea with Robert Fripp, touched Ian Anderson's favourite flute (!), asked Suzi Quatro what one wears under a leather catsuit, and invented several ridiculous editorial ideas such as the regular celebrity cooking column for Prog, Supper's Ready. After being Deputy Editor for Prog for five years and Managing Editor of Classic Rock for three, Jo is now Associate Editor of Prog, where she's been since its inception in 2009, and a regular contributor to Classic Rock. She continues to spread the experimental and psychedelic music-based word amid unsuspecting students at BIMM Institute London, hoping to inspire the next gen of rock, metal, prog and indie creators and appreciators.