Bob Constant & The Goodbye Horses – A Room Full Of Everything (Alien Frequency Productions)

Bob Constant A Room Full of Everything

Opening track Soft Towels encapsulates everything that’s so absolutely wonderful about this London based three piece, Samuel Wicker’s lively, playful guitar lines, Gabriel Bash’s jittery and loose-limbed drumming all wrapped elegantly around Bob Constant’s crispy, delicious vocal barking out his sometimes daffy, but always intriguing lyrics. They’re bluesy and Mathy with a sprinkle of galm anti-folk, if such a cocktail is even conceivable and this opening track is a strong, attention grabbing curtain raiser to this LP.

Golden Square slows things down a little, a woozy, pensive jaunt that occasionally breaks into excitable little flurries, with Bob hooting; ‘Deep at the bottom of the deep blue sea, is the fattest whale that you’ll ever see.’ It throws in grumbling and shouty backing vocals, creating a raucous and electric atmosphere. The ‘uh-umm’ backing vocals of Alien Skulls recalls Paul Simon‘s Call Me Al, the song itself is a splishy splashy little number than drifts around floating through various rooms as if a ghost at a party, ‘It’s yellow and gold, lots of bright lights’ sings Bob, his voice pushes and pulls as if being violently torn from the bottom of his gut.

Opening with a slow viking ship beat drum, scruffy guitars is the perfect backdrop for Bob to squawk and holler on Moses Mudd, and then erupt into howling choruses. ‘I’m going to go to the seaside, and write your name in the sand’ coos Bob on the mellower Christmas Lights, just before a rather lovely moment where it seems a high note escapes him followed by a self-deprecating, ‘Yeah.’ Elsewhere Bubblebath Heart ends with a rousing chant of ‘Breathe deeply!’ with assorted tippety-tap percussion and random squeaks.

There’s a warm confessional quality to Bob’s performance on the light sounding Tobacco Smoke Ghosts that helps keep the song afloat, the chorus of ‘I don’t care what you say, I don’t care what you do, just as you know I love you’ is particularly endearing.

At times Bob’s delivery does hover a little around Tom Waits territory, having that kind of spluttering cartoon style, and with the whirling carnival rhythms of Elephants & Teddy Bears the whole mix teeters dangerously close to the more hackneyed aspects of that fellow musician’s catalogue.

Penultimate track Dancing Girl is a swaggering number, with Bob spitting out ‘Why don’t you show me yours? And I’ll show you mine.’ A rather lovely little vocal is also buried, cheekily, under cackling and jabbering. The record comes to a close with Gold Bars & Black Champagne a softly played tune, Gabriel’s drums a tentative pulse running alongside Samuel’s gentle timid guitar, whilst Bob’s vocal is wide-eyed and wandering front and centre, as the guitars rise and the drums erratically clatter his voice becomes a frantic splutter before it all settles down, warm and comforting.

A superbly put together album from this beguiling and unique trio.


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