Quite where to place Derrero? How about somewhere on the Californian coast, hair full of surf and with their heads filled with an attitude of 60s free love? Well, that’s certainly a start, but this band are far more complicated than just a line. When the NME described them “like a young lad returning home from a spot of inner-city rioting“, I have to be honest in saying I don’t hear any of that on this album. Although this was describing a band of 20 years past and listening back to their 2000 album Fixation With Long Journeys, I can kind of hear where they were coming from, but I still think they were more concerned with finding their next herbal smoke than causing any form trouble.
Derrero was one of those select few bands who made it into the Peelennium, having been broadcast during the last hundred shows of John Peel’s BBC Radio One show in 1999. They are, of course, not from California, but hail from Wales, west coast[ish] I guess, but in excess of 5000 miles East and in a Northerly direction. Psychedelia is where I might pitch this band, with the album commencing with ‘Issy’s Dream‘, a short instrumental, then straight into what surely has to be the single, ‘Feed The Flashback‘, a wild journey into their musical mind, or should that be chaos? Than ‘Straight Time‘, a number which certainly conjures the passion of a psychedelic trip, as the band describe “straight time running rings round me“, well haven’t we all been there? Chemically or otherwise.
This album acts as a knife would glide through butter, each track appearing with an effortless stride: the further you go into its content the more concrete a spell is cast. An image set before even a note is struck, for example, ‘Rolling Past Vistas‘ halfway through the album surely needs no introduction, for it does indeed do “exactly what it says on the tin“, with glorious instrumentation becoming more vivid as the album moves on. The lyric does just the same: “Magician is reborn, bombastic or wolf, fertile on Mondays, persuasive at golf.” I just love the playful script that has been written, and even when the listener reaches ‘Flotsam & Jetsam‘, with its dirty breaks, for me these guys are still a bunch of surf dudes, in the evening sharing a smoke and weaving a rainbow mat for the back seat of their bug. Before completing this heady ride, Frank Zappa meets the Mayor of Simpleton on the simply awesome ‘Silex‘, a dirty bath of “bad reviews” and untuned chords, or should that be unwashed clothes?
The sad footnote to this album’s existence is that it comes at a time when Coronavirus is running havoc and its live launch has had to be postponed. I’m sure it will continue to ripen on the vine, before opening fully formed onto a live stage, hopefully sometime in the not too distant. Good luck guys and thank you for another exceptional release.
Time Lapse is released on 28th March through Cae Gwynn.