Home Read Albums Of The Week: The Bevis Frond | Little Eden

Albums Of The Week: The Bevis Frond | Little Eden

British austerity meets blazing guitars on the cult hero's majestic, epic masterpiece.

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THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Set against the austerity of post-modernism, The Bevis Frond’s new album Little Eden offers a psychedelically hewn panoramic take on modern Britain punctuated with pure pop melodies and beautifully observed English melancholy — like Ray Davies coming down as he muses on the collapse of British tradition and traditionalism.

Released on the band’s 35th anniversary, this is an album that yearns for better days signposted by the brutalism of the housing estates that main man Nick Saloman photographed for the cover, right through to the soap opera saga of They Will Return (a retrospective take for those just hanging on). The album reels with an enveloping whiff of maturity that pervades the fatalistic Do Without Me and the haunting Hold Your Horses, which sounds like a out-take from Bob Dylan’s The Basement Tapes.

Little Eden rekindles your love of music — from the harmonies that are oh-so Teenage Fanclub and Lemonheads to the grunge and awe of Dinosaur Jr. There’s perspective and retrospective tale-spinning where we wait “for the wonderful world to come” in Start Burning, which imagines a future soundtracked by the spirit of Arthur Lee. Brought into focus with witty wordplay (who else could dot in “sarcophagus” but a former Countdown champion?), these songs are littered with spine-tingling guitar breaks that climax on the epic closer, the 10 minute-plus Dreams Of Flying, an acid flashback with incendiary dueling guitars, a blast of the good times for these hard times.

If there is any artist who could be considered as having followed a tangential path from Jimi Hendrix to Big Star to Spacemen 3, that would be The Bevis Frond — and that’s not hyperbole. The evidence is to be found in countless albums over 30 years of thrilling musical innovation that few have matched. Filtered through The Groundhogs, The Who, Neil Young, Captain Beefheart and Kevin Ayers, this is an iconoclastic collision of distinctly British psychedelia, space-rock, grunge, slow-burning soulful laments, even grizzled folk and more than occasional moments of sublime pop genius. Yet, he remains the best kept secret in rock ’n’ roll. The Bevis Frond is guitarist and songwriter extraordinaire and cult hero Nick Saloman.”