LC Pumpkin is a name everyone should know and remember. Sadly they don’t, but with a bit of luck after hearing EP 4 they hopefully will. Originally part of Les Cactus & the Rumpy Pumpkins, he went solo in 2015 with a glorious EP that took the Rumpy Pumpkins sound, streamlined it and made it feel bigger and more poppy.
He’s now returned with this fourth, and best EP, to date. Opening with the instrumental ‘Bognor Regis’, LC Pumpkin channels his inner twang, but backing his fuzzy banjo with huge breakbeats. Imagine Duane Eddy messing about with an Akia sampler and you are close. ‘Space Dust’ follows fast on the opener’s heels. It’s a delightful jaunty, but with slightly paranoid lyrics about, well, space dust. “Drifts from the sky – neon dust some say comes from near Mars. An endless supply, lands off-shore then floats in on the ocean.” and ending with “It’s now in the fabric of our lives and what it means, nobody knows”.
It’s with ‘Beta Blockers’, though, that the EP really comes alive. This is LC Pumpkin’s most cohesive and immediate song. The trademark fuzzy vocals manage to cut through massive backbeats and wonky melodies. The highlight is the trippy instrumental section, where LC Pumpkin just puts his foot down and let’s rip. ‘Spaghetti’ closes everything with more LC Pumpkin’s skewed musical world view. As with all his best songs, the true meaning isn’t what you expected. Instead of a song about his favourite food, LC Pumpkin has writing something scathing about how technology and needless cables rule out lives.
EP 4 shows that LC Pumpkin hasn’t lost any of the ramshackle charm of his previous EPs. The songs contained on this EP are full of catchy melodies and ad-hoc rhythms that push his lo-fi agenda to the next level. There is a delightful poppy charm to everything, giving it a buoyant bounce and spring in its step. This is the strongest thing LC Pumpkin has released to date. It shows that his brand of song-writing has evolved and his ear for melody has got sharper. It’s anyone’s guess where he goes from here, but given this, and his previous work, it won’t be boring or conventional!
EP 4 can be heard/purchased HERE