Tequila Island

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Tequila island

Stanley Brinks is the the sort of artist that just can't stop himself from releasing stuff. This could also be said of The Wave Pictures, to a slightly lesser extent. I think it's unwise to try and pin a number on this latest episode in the Brinks mega saga, but suffice to say he's released over 100 in various guises over the years (putting The Wave Pictures' impressive tally in the shade). I can say with relative certainty though that this is Brink's fifth collaborative album with The Wave Pictures, and the first since 2015's My Ass (this one is also produced by The Wave Pictures' David Tattersall). In the meantime he's released a plethora or albums in various guises, most notably the rather good Turtle Dove (with The Kaniks) from 2016.

On Tequila Island we're on similar ground to his 2014 Wave Pictures collaboration Gin, in that booze and boozey nights play a considerable role in the lyrical content. Musically speaking there are similarities with that record too (I think it goes without saying that much of this record features jazzy guitar lines and a stripped back rhythm section), but there are also subtle changes in style, such as the country / rock n roll themed "Like a Fool" or "Like a Song", both of which have an air of The Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo about them. Mostly though these are knockabout numbers, recorded over three nights in the studio (after The Wave Pictures had picked out their favourites from several CDs of Brinks' demos). They aren't going to change the world or even divert the direction of Brinks' career a whole lot, but I get the feeling that Brinks isn't one to let a bunch of tracks go to waste. The - lyrically speaking - quite laughable "Four Times We Kissed" is probably the low point of this record, just about saved by Tattersall's stunning guitar solo.

On the flip side, i'd love it if someone found the time to go through his vast discography and attempt to curate a "Best Of" compilation, because there is a LOT of gold in amongst the piles of albums. If I was to nominate one from this record it would be "Gin in Me", a song which is a dark and intriguing tale of drunken adventure (or misadventure), with a lovely subtle and slow moving back line from Franic Rozycki and Jonny ‘Huddersfield’ Helm (it's even got banjo in it, which is surely a win). 

If you're new to Stanley Brinks, there are probably better places to start than Tequila Island (i'd look to Peanuts or Turtle Dove from his recent output), but for fans, this is another fine addition to his/your hefty collection.

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