The Bevis Frond: Example 22

Album number 22 from English psychedelic institution.

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Nick Salomon’s Hastings cottage industry gained new impetus with the fine The Leaving Of London (2012), The Bevis Frond’s first album in seven years.

This 60s schoolboy veteran has stayed loyal to that decade’s virtues, adding lessons from punk and power pop. His lysergic fragility keeps the bit of Syd Barrett DNA cribbed by early Blur, and there are times when this sounds like Dinosaur Jr. fronted by Graham Coxon, or Crazy Horse by a hip and sensitive local postie.

The nine-minute Pale Blue Blood’s slow, heavy guitar tread and arcane musings on dinosaurs buried inside us, Saloman’s voice straining till it sounds like the oxygen’s running out, is pretty typical.

Often a one-man operation, he’s happy here leading his touring band on long riffing voyages. But the songs are powered by wonder at existence’s potential, and the cracked, difficult struggle to mentally survive it.

Nick Hasted

Nick Hasted writes about film, music, books and comics for Classic Rock, The Independent, Uncut, Jazzwise and The Arts Desk. He has published three books: The Dark Story of Eminem (2002), You Really Got Me: The Story of The Kinks (2011), and Jack White: How He Built An Empire From The Blues (2016).