Review – Rob Clarke and the Wooltones

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Want to be brought back to those lazy days of driving down long, winding, ridiculously rural roads in the deserts of Nevada, shades on, one arm out of the window and getting a weird tanline? Even if you’ve never been to America and don’t own a convertible or even a car at all? Well then I suggest you listen to the relaxed sounds of Rob Clarke and the Wooltones. Are you excited? I’m excited.

But specifically, I’m just going to talk about the songs ‘Butter’ and ‘Our Business’ because the other three ‘songs’ were just the disturbing entrails of the album. I imagine that if they had a video it would just be Susan Boyle swinging her shirt around like a lasso or something as equally unsettling.

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In today’s modern times (they have electric apple-peelers now, we’re living in the future), it can be difficult to capture the classic, evocative sounds of previous decades, and even more difficult to echo them with a modern twist. This is accomplished effortlessly by Rob & Co. With sounds that would make any stoned festival goer woo unintelligibly, it’s hard not to like them.

My comments on the lyrics don’t go very far, because the lead’s voice is such that you don’t really listen to what’s being said, you just hear the words and sway a little and go ‘mm-nn-hmm-yeahh’ and take a drag and compliment your friend’s tie-dye shirt. I’m not sure if it was the desired effect (seems a little specific) but their songs give me traumatic sixties flashbacks and I wasn’t even alive then. I’m tempted to use the word ‘psychedelic’ but I think the cringe it would invoke would give me an aneurism.

In terms of quality, the singing was sound and the instrumental work was well-paced and varied. I’m a sucker for a good range of instruments so I was sold the second I heard the maracas. I have no criticisms as such, but I won’t be blaring out ‘At the Shop’ at my next party either. They were good. Not super-fantastic-amazing-chocolaty-fudge-coated wonderful. But enjoyable.

I would like to pose two questions for them though. First of all, what’s this obsession with butter? Butter was mentioned numerous times. I don’t really know what that means. Mix it up a bit, try some margarine, avoid diabetes. And secondly, who is this Rob Clarke fellow and why does he get to have his full name included the title? It’s not like it’s a cool name. He’s no Flip Wilson. Explain yourself Rob.

Reviewed by: Meg Morgan | Follow Meg on Twitter

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