Vinny Peculiar - The Root Mull Affect (Cherry Red Records)

Vinny Peculiar – The Root Mull Affect (Cherry Red Records)

It doesn’t seem that long ago when we were talking about Vinny Peculiar and Bonehead teaming up for their psychedelic experiment of Parlour Flames, yet here we are roughly a year later speaking of the new solo Vinny Peculiar album, The Root Mull Affect, which is a fifteen track album built on outtakes and remixes that have been picked across the past fifteen years’ back catalogue.

This is Vinny’s tenth album, and if you’re not fully aware of his unique, wry wit then this collection gives you a real insight into the best of his weird and wonderful world. His songs lean towards pop folk, fluctuating between dark and upbeat moods, but all the while being driven by a charming lyrical quirkiness that appears artsy in its nature, yet ingenious in its execution. There’s a very 60s care free attitude to his approach, which is full of life and radiates colour. It’s almost like the words in his diary have been added to music such is the manner of his song writing delivery. You can’t take it serious yet it’s about as serious as it gets when you scratch beneath the surface.

The whole album twists and turns and there are many notable highlights, as would be expected from a collection of such fine work. The first two tracks are both upbeat and melodious, and they immediately hook you into Vinny’s eccentric world. ‘A Vision’ is the opener and recounts a hallucinogenic day in the life when John Cooper Clarke joined The Beatles. ‘Jesus Stole My Girlfriend’ sounds amusing and tongue in cheek in its title, but in reality amidst the upbeat jolly nature of the song, there is an underbelly of sadness. ‘Flatter and Deceive’ carries a country vibe which is a poetic summary of Vinny’s life. There’s a bold and authoritative feel that comes from a tribal like drumbeat that basically announces who Vinny is and how he came to be who he is today. Even then you won’t understand, but you don’t have to……you just have to appreciate! ‘Confessions of a Sperm Donor’ is quietly charming despite its bawdy title, but any song that manages to have the line, ‘In the art of masturbation I truly excelled’ deserves some sort of perverse credit. What’s comical is that the chorus monotonously repeats in such a docile and toneless northern humorous way, adding some light hearted fun to the story. ‘Sometimes I Feel Like a King’ is a great track that we can all connect with that highlights the simple pleasures in life that we enjoy no matter how routine and seemingly meaningless it all may look, and all this is in spite of the ugliness that surrounds us. There’s a very hypnotic, sing-along vibe that sucks you into the songs core elements.

Other highlights include ‘Lazy Bohemians’, which carries a serious tone despite its playful melody. Being political in its meaning it takes a swipe at those who talk about revolution, but never seem to accomplish anything from it. ‘Everlasting Teenage Bedroom’ is subjected to a re-record which now involves Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce from The Smiths on the rhythm section. ‘Time For Bed’ is a short, unique song with a dark undertone where the lyrics reel through the alphabet telling a story, for example, “A is for the apple, B is for the ball, C is for the crucifix hung upon the wall……!”

The Root Mull Affect is a wonderfully put together blend of the great body of work Vinny Peculiar has written, mixing engaging pop melodies with culturally apt lyrics that are a little different from the norm. If you’re unfamiliar with his work then this is a great way to start delving into his unconventional world. Work from the tip of the iceberg before uncovering further layers of lyrical gems and golden nuggets of song writing prowess that are sure to whisk you away into nostalgic roots and imaginative comical scenarios.

Rating: ★★★★☆

The Root Mull Affect was released on 10th March 2014 through Cherry Red Records

Remaining live dates:
Thursday 3rd April Gullivers, Manchester (Album Launch) – full band show
Friday 25th April The Cellar Bar, Southampton
Thursday 1st May Ethical Glass North John St Liverpool
May 3rd Cinnamon Club, Bowden, Cheshire
May 14th The Hope, Brighton

Track Listing
1 A Vision
2 Jesus Stole My Girlfriend
3 Man About the House
4 Flatter And Deceive
5 Confessions of a Sperm Donor
6 Sometimes I Feel Like A King
7 Lazy Bohemians
8 Dirty Weekend
9 Everlasting Teenage Bedroom
10 The Hairdressers
11 Time For Bed
12 Playing on the Pier
13 Egg Incident
14 My Generation [I said goodbye]
15 Judy Wood

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