Platinum Coils, The Monochrome Set’s latest release, is a great record, up there with their finest work. The band’s tenth album continues to show Bid’s distinctive way with words, the cool force of Lester Square’s Western-tinged guitars, and Andy Warren’s solid yet fluid basswork synchs with new drummers Steve Brummell and Jen Denitto, who share percussion duties. Opener Hip Kitten Spinning Chrome kicks off with a nod to their classic Jet Set Junta, and further references to old favourites echo throughout the album. Hip Kitten is an excellent song; a great melody, soaring into the chorus, filled with fantastic imagery of intravenous feline activity. The energy continues to flow with I Can’t Control My Feet, an irresistible call to dance. Waiting For Alberto is a particular highlight, its Mediterranean rhythms bubbling under a wonderfully vivid and intriguingly told picture of this singular gentleman. Bid here showing his mastery of cadence for optimum effect.
One is lifted up to the gentle heights of On My Balcony, where weightless, surrounded by a golden luminous haze, the concerns of the world float far below. The carefree atmosphere continues for the next three songs. Bid humourously ridding himself of the minutiae of an everyday morning in Free Free Free and the band sounding more 60s jangly than usual on Mein Capitan. Moving into a 70s stomp for Cauchemar, a pill-induced nightmare perhaps, but one you can shake your hips to. Darkness settles as They Call Me Silence slinks into slow shadowy surf. Heralded by a horse whinnying, Les Cowboys is just as its title describes. Streams offers solitary twilight brooding, its revelations repeatedly flowing into a delicious chorus. Harking back to the earlier jaunty tunes, I’m Happy To Be Here offers more very fine pop. Brush With Death, another comical intro with the sound of sweeps, is a great little instrumental, a classic slice of Monochrome Set insouciance. One of the best albums of the year so far, highly recommended for new and old fans alike.